Let me ask you 3 simple questions:
- Would you try to marry someone on the first date you had with them?
- Would you try to cross a 6-lane road in one go?
- Would you try and eat a massive meal in one bite?
Some might try to achieve all 3 and whilst they may make for interesting YouTube videos, more often than not trying to do those three simple things in one go will end in disaster. The reality in the above situations is that there needs to be a process and journey to get to the end result and although that journey might be frustrating in parts, if you break the overall journey down into smaller chunks, the likelihood is that you will achieve your goal at the end. Trying to cross a 6-lane road in one go is likely to lead to you being hit and injured and well, offering to marry someone on the 1st date is very likely to make the other person leave pretty quickly!
Whether we like it or not, there are times when we must follow a process and not try to achieve too much straight away.
Trying to convince a prospect to work with your company is one of those times where you need to be patient and build a process to get the right result. I have worked with 000’s of small businesses over the last 13 years and one of the most common mistakes I see on a regular basis is the rush to win business before the prospect is really ready to buy. Putting together a clearly defined sales process from the moment a prospect engages with you through to the moment they sign up and become a customer is vital if you are to achieve consistent sales success. Different companies will have a different number of steps in their process but in general terms I think there are normally 4 or 5 steps that companies need to put in place to convert prospects into customers.
Examples of this would be:
- Initial enquiry received
- Call or meeting to discuss the initial requirements
- Demonstration or trial of the product for a certain period
- Proposal on a longer-term project or product purchase
- Confirmation to move forward or decision not to go ahead
In the above example, there are 5 clear stages in a process and whilst the timescale to go from 1 to 5 will differ depending on your industry being able to know where your leads and prospects are at each stage is key. Knowing within an initial meeting that you are not asking the prospect to buy from you but commit time to trialling your service is a much easier task than asking them to buy there and then. Of course, it’s great to receive buying signals from prospects (such as I love the product that you guys have) and if someone does want to sign up to work with you straight away then of course sign them up!
The real sales experts though will have clear stages in their process and then use the engagements they have with the prospect to build trust, affinity and a want from the prospect to move to the next stage!
They know that to cross the road, they need to break it down into smaller chunks and then measure the success they are having at each stage.
So, have you got a clearly defined sales process in place for your business or are you trying to get married on your first date with a prospect? Not sure what that process should look like or how it could work for your business?
Why not take advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with me so that I can understand more about you and your company and suggest a process that could work for you!
Contact me here and let’s get a process in place to help you turn your sales targets into actual numbers!