I’ve recently noticed a new phrase being bandied about—”slow sales.” This isn’t about business being down, but about how the sales process works. And today, the customer has more control over the speed of the sale than the provider. There was a time when the speed of the sale was controlled by the seller. The speed of sales used to be measured by the time it took to get to the close. Always be closing, you know.
Salespeople vs. Customers—Who’s in Charge?
A sale is consummated when a prospect is ready to become a customer, not when the provider asks for the order. So is the sale made by the customer? Yes and no. The customer determines the speed of the process. The salesperson helps by meeting the customer’s needs, answering questions, and solving problems.
Is Your Sales Process Too Fast?
If it is, your customers will tell you by ending the process. They end the process when their needs aren’t being met, which means you need to slow your process down. How do you accomplish this?
• Stop and listen to your customers. Take it further and ask them what THEY need, what YOU’RE missing, and how YOU can help.
• Stop looking at the sales process as something you control. You don’t. Let the customer take charge, only offering to lead when it’s in their best interest.
• It’s not 1989. Throw away your old sales methods pertaining to the psychology of the sale, influencing decision makers, and how to close. Seriously—burn them now.
Is your sales process too fast? If it is, slow down and take a look at the customer’s needs, wants, and desires. And when you fulfill those, you’ve found the right speed. How do you view the sales process, both as a consumer and from your company’s perspective?