The above statement is attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher from around 500 BCE (News - Alert). Interestingly, that was a time when change was moving at a snail’s pace as compared to today. People would even have had considerable time to actually reflect on the philosopher’s message. In today’s world the only reflection time most of us get is when looking in a mirror.
Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity revealed that time slows down (time dilation) when you approach the speed of light. Unfortunately, we earthbound humans traveling at a much slower speed have to deal with an unvarying 24-hour day, and there’s no known technique of stretching time other than careful time management.
This column has covered the importance of time management in the past but those discussions were limited to personal time management. However, your customers and prospective customers also have serious time constraints. Decision makers, in particular, have very little time to consider options and make a choice, plus almost zero time for learning a new technology. This means you have to help manage their time for them, from the onset of the sales cycle to post-sales support.
The key to success is to pick your target markets carefully based on your organization’s skill set. Customize your sales efforts accordingly. For example, some resellers have a wealth of technical personnel but few sales personnel with technical skills. Pair them into two-person teams for pre-sales support. This ensures that any questions will be answered promptly and correctly from both a technical and a sales perspective. The pair-model is particularly suited to industries like health care where time is quite limited. This is partly due to their having to allocate a lot of time to maintain a proficiency in their medical specialty, which results in a limited knowledge outside their industry.
The pair-model will showcase your organization’s high degree of knowledge at the onset of the relationship, plus demonstrate your respect for the prospect’s time constraints. The sales strategy is also a great method to introduce and justify the concept of a premium price for a premium product.
Change may be a constant, but the rate of change is variable and increasing rapidly. Time to get moving.
Max Schroeder is Vice President Emeritus of FaxCore Inc. (www.faxcore.com) and managing director of the DPCF.
Edited by Maurice Nagle