Have you ever had a salesperson ask you to buy before they had done the work to deserve that commitment? Remember how you felt that there was some invisible line that they just jumped over, pen and contract in hand?
Ever been that salesperson?
To compress your sales cycle in a business-to-business sale, you have to ask for the all of the commitments you need to move an opportunity forward. The more of the commitments you can ask for and gain in a single meeting, the faster your sales cycle. Ask for fewer of the commitments you need during each interaction and you slow your sales cycle. You need to move as far along in the process as you can during each interaction with your dream client.
That said, one of the fastest ways to damage an opportunity is to ask for a greater commitment than you have actually earned the right to ask for. Asking for more than you deserve can damage your relationship. This is why always be closing doesn’t mean that you always ask for the deal. It means you always ask for the commitment that advances your opportunity. It means you always ask for what you have earned, and you always do the work to ensure you deserve the commitment you are asking your dream client for.
Too Fast and Too Slow
Getting commitment-gaining wrong means you aren’t matching your dream client’s needs.
Getting it wrong one way means that you’re saying “Your place or mine?” It’s too fast. Your relationship may not yet have reached the point where you and ask for the greatest commitment you will later ask for, after you have done the work to deserve it. It’s a violation of trust.
Getting this wrong the other direction means you aren’t matching your dream client’s needs for results. Going too slow and taking too much time to work through your sales process—and your buyer’s buying process—means you are depriving them the better future result you could get getting them sooner. That’s leaving money on the table.
Your sales process matters. The time is takes you to move an opportunity from target to close matters. Asking for all of the commitments that you need matters, too.
But your ability to create the value necessary to deserve the commitments you are asking for matters most of all.
What value do you have to create to deserve the commitments you need?
What happens to relationships when you ask for commitments you haven’t earned?
What is the result of asking for fewer commitments than you really need during a sales interaction?