Being productive with your time is critical to your success in sales, so you want to compress the sales cycle and close deals faster. You try to shorten the sales process by moving through discovery faster, rushing to a presentation and proposal, and asking for the business.
The problem is that now that your decision to rush through your process has caused your prospective client to bring the process to a screeching halt. They’ve gone dark on you, even though you established a need, presented what you believed to be a compelling solution, and you asked for the business.
Now you’re worried about your deal. You wonder why your prospective client is avoiding your calls and your emails. But this isn’t something your dream client is doing to you; it’s something that you’ve done to yourself.
Why Your Prospect Slowed Down
One of the reasons your deals slow to a crawl is because you are going too fast by getting ahead of your prospect. You can’t cross the finish line without your prospect, so your speed has to match theirs. You can only go as fast they do.
- If your dream client doesn’t recognize that they have a compelling reason to change, then you don’t have an opportunity. Even if they would experience unimaginable gains by working with you, until you help them discover and convince them of a reason to change, you are going nowhere.
- You think that because you’ve done your discovery work that you can move forward on a solution. But you aren’t the only one who is “discovering.” You can’t move forward in your process until you have satisfied your prospect’s need to discover. Until they are satisfied that they know what they need to know to move forward, you are taking the next step without them.
- You want to move straight to your best solution. You’ve seen your prospect’s current situation before, and you know the answer. You want to move forward with the right answer, but they want to collaborate and make sure it fits their needs, their company, and that it serves their clients. Spend a little time exploring options and developing the right answer together, and you’ll move forward sooner.
- You may believe that the last thing you want to do is slow down the deal by bringing up the reasons your dream client might be concerned with making a decision to move forward. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have concerns, nor does it mean that they can—or will—move forward without having those concerns resolved to their satisfaction. The very thing you fear will slow your deal will kill it if ignored, and allow you to move forward if addressed.
Know Where You Are
You know where you are in your sales process. But it’s equally important that you know where your dream client is in their process. Not their formal process, but the process where they have all the information, answers, and consensus they need to move forward. Going any faster than that means you may leave your prospective dream client–and your deal–behind.