Respect The Buyer’s Process.
Truly successful sales people know they are disciplined, and accept prospects need to be developed. It may take some time, effort and commitment to “take the customer out of the market” ad finally close them.
In other words, they know that they have been successful in establishing the trust-bond, and in matching their services/products well with customer’s requirements, so that when the customer buys, they know the customer will buy from them.
They accept that they cannot and should not try to materially alter the buyer’s process, for doing so will violate the trust-bond, and likely result in sacrificing margin.
Far too often, those in desperate need to meet a quota deadline will offer a concession to win a deal earlier than the customer was prepared to authorize. In many cases the incentive comes in the form of a price reduction. “If I could get a lower price, would you order this month?” It’s a lose/lose question:
- The trust-bond has been broken. The customer now knows he didn’t get the best his sales person could have offered.
- The sales person has sacrificed margin, making the transaction and his company less profitable.
- The customer must do abnormal things to make the sale happen, which he’ll resent, but more importantly, he’ll learn from the experience and know exactly how and when to buy in the future, reducing the value of all future sales as well!
It is much better to manage the pipeline better, spend time developing prospects and less time chasing deals that really aren’t qualified deals. Developing enough opportunities in the sales funnel insures the requisite number will materialize, without adversely impacting the normal and natural course of events with any single customer.