You're only as good as your last great sale. Are you getting your next one fast enough to reach your goals? Many salespeople approach their next big win like it will take months. That's a bad assumption to make if you want to accelerate your sales cycle. With the right focus and preparation, one salesperson I work with got her "next great sale" in a short amount of time. Here's how:
Identify a Great Prospect
She found a great prospect, one that met all the criteria of an ideal customer for her business. There was dollar potential, access to the decision-maker, and a problem she could solve. However, the decision-maker she needed to access had not met with someone in her industry for over 5 years… never even let a sales rep in the door!
Prepare Your Approach
Knowing this, she prepared her approach and did not give up until she got the appointment. Through well-crafted valid business reasons, persistent phone calls with a few messages that illustrated her expertise and ability to help, along with a frequent "drop by" while she was in the area, she got the appointment.
Research the Prospect Thoroughly
Having listened to many objections before she got the appointment, she quickly knew there was more homework to be done. Before her first meeting, she knew more about his business than he did—and that went a long way in establishing credibility.
The first appointment morphed into a partnership conversation on how they could best work together.
Create a No-Surprise Proposal
Back at the office, she went to work creating a great No-Surprise Proposal, and within nine businesses days of the first appointment (ultra-fast for this salesperson's industry!), it closed as a new piece of business at Key Account level for her organization.
Run your proposal through this test to see how likely it is to result in a sale.
If you find yourself asking how you can speed up the sales process, speed is not achieved in haste, but with focus and preparation that leads to building rapport quickly with your prospect. As illustrated above, that in turn will lead to bigger and timely commitments…. and your next great sale!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on April 9, 2013 and has been updated.