There’s one fat obstacle that makes your eagerness to sell irrelevant – timing. If your buyer is not ready, then there is nothing you can do to make them buy now. They are not ready.
The problem with most sales processes is that prioritization and focus is largely on those who are ready to buy now. This is at the expense of the large majority of buyers that will buy later. We have a few theories on why this may be from our work with sales organizations:
- It’s difficult to think about other people. We think about ourselves first. We want to sell.
- It’s hard work to create ongoing value. If someone is not ready to buy now, they still require attention and services. Thinking through this and implementing systems to serve the unready buyer requires commitment and process.
- There are poor management processes. If your team is not measuring pipeline and forecasting, then there is not a commitment to long-term sales leads. A typical funnel has the majority of leads further out. Sales is interested in merely working ready leads instead of also preparing unready leads.
Timing does have some dependencies. You can use strategies to shorten the sales cycle with some leads:
- Offer pricing specials
- Pressure the buyer
- Increase the frequency of your touch points
However, there is typically backlash with tactics that artificially push the buyer. At the end of the day, their timing comes from:
- Getting comfortable. Understanding the lingo of your industry and their options. They want to get comfortable in their minds about what they are talking about.
- Getting to know you. Are you trustworthy? Do they like you? This takes time. If you align and there is high trust, it shortens the sales cycle.
- Pain. When there is high pain, then you get the call if you have been positioned well.
- Desire. They have to have what you have been putting on their mind.
Timing is one of the largest dependencies the salesperson faces with the buyer. It’s harder today. There is a lot of noise in the buyer’s life. They are not typically focused on what you are offering.
Building trust with ongoing and tactful value is critical for affecting the timing of a sale. It’s the creative, diligent work that a good sales process should account for as a core activity daily.
How are you accounting for timing in your sales process?