Sales – is it a game of ending?

Do you ever feel like it’s all coming to an end? Month END, Quarter END, Year END. Maybe it is just me… but at times sales seems to be a game of ending. On top of which we have to worry about the 1,300 year old Mayan calendar ending on Dec. 21 THIS YEAR…
I am not an archeologist, anthropologist, or historian BUT I choose not to worry about the Mayan calendar ending for two good reasons:

  1. “by A.D. 1200, the Maya dynasty finally came to a close”  so for them they really over estimated how long a calendar they would need.
  2. They were a smart people; developing astronomy, that calendar, hieroglyphic writing, architecture and more… my guess is they figured by now we’d be able to extend the calendar ourselves!

 

Which brings us to my two good reasons for NOT worrying about sales endings:

  1. Every day great salespeople work to make sure today, tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year have enough business lined up.
  2. Customers buy in THEIR TIME not ours!

Every Day
When you come in to your office every morning are you focused on making today count? Great salespeople are thinking exactly that!

Great Salespeople

  1. Know what happened yesterday is over – they look for the lesson to be learned and move on
  2. Believe they can create the future – and take action today to make it happen
  3. Recognize opportunity – by listening AGRESSIVELY (for more on that check out Dan Black’s A Secret to Better Communication)

How about you, what do you know, believe, and recognize when you come in every morning? How about throughout your sales day?

Customers buy in THEIR TIME not ours
Let’s face it, when we are the consumer – some salesperson isn’t going to be able to MAKE us buy something if we’re not ready. There are lots of reasons people might not be ready to buy at one of the ENDINGS in our world. Let’s look at three:

  •   Money – they don’t have any, hopefully that is a ‘yet’ vs. ‘never’
  •   Priority – other things in their world or their company’s world take precedence over YOU
  •   Small Piece – your STUFF is a really small piece of a bigger project/initiative and the decision on that hasn’t been made yet

I would challenge that the #1 reason deals don’t close by Month END, Quarter END, Year END is that as salespeople we didn’t qualify the opportunity time frame in the 1st place (or on any call after that either!).

Instead of using old, tired, and outdated sales techniques – why not call and have a conversation around THEIR time frame?

Not sure how to have that conversation? Start with THEIR objective and work back in time to the present date…..
• When do you have to be up and running?
• How long will it take you to do the install?
• We will need ______ days to deliver the equipment from when we receive your PO, how long would it take to have a PO cut?
• Once you have my information, how long will you need to make a decision?
• When do you need my pricing and information? What happens then?

By the way, do you have that PO yet?

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