How to shorten your sales cycle

 

How can you shorten your sales cycle?

 

I get asked this question often especially by people who are in the service provider business.

The conventional answers are all the same and true! To name a few…

1)    Have more qualified prospects in your sales funnel or pipeline. More prospects will lead to more sales and seem to shorten the cycle partly because you will always be closing.

Spy Reflection2)    Be consistent and work every stage of the cycle.

3)    Plan your sales calls and closings

4)    Know your stuff!

5)    Make sure you are speaking to the right person!

All these are true but the real sure fired ways to shorten one’s sales cycle are the following:

A) Increase the number of sales from referrals (existing customers and your network)

My typical sales cycle has 6-to-7 stages to it from prospect to sale. The typical time frame to close can be 1-to-6 months. Compare that to my typical close from a referral that has an average of 1-to-3 stages and has an average closing time frame of 1 call to 1 month.

The results are 50-to-90% more efficient!

B) Make your existing customers job number one! Then ask them for more business and for referrals.

Service your existing customer as if they were the only one you have. Their work gets done first, on time with supreme quality. Always answer their calls, emails, etc. in a timely proactive manner.

C) Close in one meeting or two and that’s it!

Figure out how you can close a qualified prospect in 1-or-2 meetings. No more. If you can’t then you either do not know your work or service and/ or you have not figured out how to make your point and close.

As an example, I typically have the prospect complete an exercise in my service portfolio that best demonstrates what I do that aligns with the business needs. In the first or second meeting I demonstrate my service offering and competence versus telling.

Is that giving something away for free, you bet! However, the end result is usually leaving the prospect with real tangible value. They then typically want more.

I call this the “A-B-C’s” to a shorter sales close cycle!

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