Everyone wants to close deals faster, but most don’t know how to do it. I see sales reps commonly fall into traps, in which they tell themselves stories such as this:
- “We have a long sales cycle so this is ‘normal'”
- “I don’t want to seem pushy.”
- “I like to build relationships.”
- Etc, etc, etc.
At the end of the day, whatever story they are telling themselves, they have forgotten the #1 reason they were hired: BRING IN THE SALES DOLLARS! I found that most sales pro’s fall into 3 common reasons on why their sales cycles are long; let’s check them out here:
1. Meeting with the Wrong Ultimate Decision-Maker – Regardless of what you sell, even if it requires multiple people to make a decision, 99% of the time, there is one person that has more sway in making the ultimate decision! You may fool yourself into thinking that it’s based on title but that is not always accurate. Another common mistake is thinking that you should meet with the people that are directly impacted by the service or product; although this may help you close the deal eventually, if they cannot ultimately make the decision, this will more than likely elongate your sales cycle!
If you want to close deals faster, identify and qualify whoever can make the final decision. They are the person that can say “YES” even when others say “NO!” It won’t be easy but if you start with this person and even if they shift you down to other influencers within the business, you’ve automatically increased your closing ratio! If you do the opposite and you meet with someone who CAN’T make the ultimate decision, if they need to go up to the next level, you automatically reduce your closing ratio and will add more meetings to your sales cycle.
2. Not Using “If-Then” Statements – We’ve all been guilty of this including myself. Tell me if this sounds familiar:
- You have a great meeting with a prospect and they ask for some samples, mock ups, etc. to be made up.
- You excitedly agree and you rush off to do it.
- You call them later to meet up to show them the samples, mock ups, etc.
- You meet with them. They say it looks good but ALSO want to see other samples, mock ups, etc.
- You excitedly agree and you rush off to do that!
- Rinse and repeat 2-5 multiples times until suddenly it’s months later and you don’t know where stand with the prospect!
Sound familiar? This can be incredibly frustrating for you as I know it was for me when I fell into this death spiral of a prospect. However, I uncovered that it is very much controllable – as sales professionals, we often want to be “YES MEN/WOMEN” to take care of our customers and prospects; however, if we are not careful we will end up being “ambassadors” that make lots of friends but don’t get the business locked up!
So here’s the simple adjustment you make: after they ask for samples, mock ups, etc. to be made, you simply use an “If-Then” statement! It may sound something like this:
“Ok, Mrs. Prospect! So IF I make these samples up and you like them, THEN we can move forward with doing business together, correct?”
Notice that “If-Then” statements sets clear expectations for the prospect – then you can easily set up your next meeting to be a closing call when you bring the samples!
3. Not Asking For the Business – I’ve been there; you do a great job with uncovering the prospect’s needs, building value, and have presented a solution that they like. I’m right there when I KNOW I should ask for the business but I can feel the anxiety of the close in the pit of my stomach…before I can ask for the business, I suddenly hear the dreaded words come soaring out of my mouth – “When can I follow up on your decision?” Before I know it, suddenly I spend weeks after that meeting trying to track the prospect down for a follow up meeting to close and I get progressively more frustrated with them!
All of that could have been avoided by simply asking for the business at the end of the first meeting! (As long as I’ve earned the right to ask for it.) I’ve coached a LOT of sales professionals and it is SHOCKING how many of them have simply not asked for the business on the first call! When you look yourself in the mirror, you can simply reflect and ask yourself, “For all my deals I did NOT close this week, did I ASK for the business?” If you did not, your next question should be, “How can I position myself to ask for the business next with this prospect?”
Regardless of the number of meetings you are going on with the prospect, you must ask for the business and trial close on every single call. This gives you a gauge on the prospect and your closing ratio. I guarantee by simple ensuring you ask for the business every single time, you will close deals faster and will reduce the sales cycle quickly as well!
So there you have it: 3 Reasons Why You’re Not Closing Deals As Fast As You Want! All three of these reasons are very much controllable and with a few slight tweaks, you can see your closing ratio skyrocket! If you liked this article, feel free to share and comment below. If you liked this article, make sure to also snag my new program, Close Like Chan! It’s a 7-Day Training and Challenge that you can get for free below!