Wondering how to shorten your customers buying cycle so you can close more sales faster? Here’s a great technique that really works!
Does Your Business Have Slower Sales Seasons?
I used to work in an industry where the summer was a dead time for the sales team. The customers would shut their production down for a week or two. Contacts were on vacation and nothing moved. Then late August and early September would come and sales would start happening. This resulted in the salespeople moving too fast and mistakes happening. It effected both the salesperson and the customer.
The problem was easy to fix once we identified the solution and put it into action. We ended up with busy profitable summers and calmer fall selling seasons.
There also were some added benefits. First, it helped improve our sales results. In fact, a few records were set in what used to be considered the worst selling months of the year. Secondly, the sales technique also resulted in a shorter sales cycles and improved sales forecast accuracy throughout the rest of the year.
How to Use Your Prospect’s Operational Date as a Closing Tool
What was this miracle of miracles? It was a very simple concept that we trained every sales person to include in their sales process. The solution was to get the customer to focus on the operational date. This was when they determine they must be 100% operational with their new equipment. Over the years we have learned that this formula can be applied to just about any product or service and is not just for summer time selling.
The key is for your sales people to find out the date the customer must have the system in operation. From there they would work back the time lines to the date the customer had to sign the order if they wanted to meet their cutoff date. This was a powerful closing technique because it was the customer who determined the timelines not us and they would then commit to the process.
How to Shorten Your Customer’s Buying Cycle – The Sales Technique
You find out from the customer that the new widget fabrication system must be operational in 60 days to take over the process from a machine that can't handle the current volume. You must probe the customer to find out the implications of not meeting this deadline. The key to this technique is the reasoning must be their words and concerns not yours.
Work the Implementation Schedule Backwards
The key in how to shorten your customers buying cycle is you helping the the customer work back the time lines from their date.
- If the new system must be operational in 60 days and you will need 5 days for installation and training then we need 55 days.
- However, most vendors require 10 to 12 business days from the receipt of a signed order to build the machine. Now you are at 43 days.
- You determine their internal program to evaluate the vendors will take 20 days. Now you have 23 days left.
- Once the evaluation is complete it will take 5 days to get the paperwork signed off and the internal approvals in place. 18 days left from the 60.
- You have to research your requirements before you establish your evaluation criteria and that may take 10 days. You now have 8 free days in the 60 day process.
- Allowing for shipping and lost days in the process and you have a client who is no longer thinking two months before they need to act you have a client who has determine their own buying cycle.
I always did this exercise using a calendar and a white board. That way the client would get a great visual of the time as it was slipping away quickly.
A Sales Technique That Works Everywhere
The great thing about this sales approach is it can work for almost any product or service. And by being the salesperson who helps the prospect understand the time lines, and especially the critical dates, you are increasing your personal worth to the prospect.
No need for offer end of month specials or big discounts to close the deal. They customer is in the driver's seat and you are along for a ride on your road to success.
How to Validate Your Buyers and Close More Sales Faster
How to Shorten the Customers Buying Cycle – The Bottom Line
By the way by employing this approach we turned summer doldrums into busy profitable selling months. Once the customers began to understand how their summer holidays, short staff and closures were going to impact their busy fall production months we had no trouble keeping the sales pipeline full and more importantly profitable.
For more detailed information on these sales techniques, download our free eBook, How to Validate Your Buyers and Close More Sales Faster, from the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre. While your there, check out our free email template you can use to help start a stalled prospect.
“When you lead a struggling sales division from the brink of closing to over $7.4 million dollars in annual sales you can be confident, Robert knows how to engage customers and build sales.”
Whether it's accelerating your LinkedIn networking, creating an email drip marketing campaign, making your introductory phone calls, or a combination of the above, B2B Sales Connections develops the most effective lead generation program, customized for you to grow your business.