Selling is primarily time management. The more efficient you are, the more sales you can make. The corollary is that we are always interrupting prospects and asking for their time. We need to respect their time and attention.
Recently, two separate companies wanted to have meetings with me. They wanted an hour or more of my time. I offered 30 minutes, but they said it wouldn’t be enough time. They clearly didn’t respect my time nor their own.
Why do I say that? What if I wasn’t the decision maker or influencer? What if I didn’t need or want their product? They did very little pre-qualification.
As sales professionals, there is a sales process. There are no short cuts in the sales process. After prospecting, you have to do qualification or what I call disqualification. I don’t want to spend time on someone with no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust. It comes back to time management. I want to spend my time with people who need my services, want my services, can afford my services, and will buy from me soon.
Disqualification is checking to make sure there is desire, budget, and need. Certainly, you should think that everyone should buy your services, but you should spend time with the best prospects (and the suspects who will become customers soonest). Maybe it is a priority thing. All too often we do the urgent and the busy, but not the important or the right activity that will help us reach our goals.
Back to the sales process: That first meeting has a goal. Don’t jump past it. For example, if your objective is to get an appointment, don’t rush past that and try to make the sale – just appoint. These guys had gone further down the path than I, the prospect, was. I wasn’t going to invest an hour of my time; it’s just too valuable. They hadn’t established any trust, rapport, or anything. Remember: There is a sales process, no short cuts. Selling is about time management, which means prioritize. Now go sell something!
Peter Radizeski is president of telecom consulting agency RAD-INFO (News - Alert) Inc. (http://rad-info.net/).
Edited by Maurice Nagle