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How To Shorten A Long Sales Cycle

jordan stupar Oct 22, 2020

The amount of time it takes a buyer to make a decision to  move forward with the purchase of a product or service is often what is referred to as a ‘sales cycle’. Some sales cycles last a couple minutes while other sales cycles can last a few years, depending on the product or service that is being sold.

While direct sales people that market directly to consumers (think door to door) usually operate on short sales cycles and rely on customers to make quick decisions, other sales roles require a more time consuming approach to managing a longer sales cycle.

Today’s buyers have access to more information that ever and spend considerably more time doing their research when it comes to purchasing products and services for themselves or their businesses. In order to shorten a longer cycle, salespeople need to sell their buyers on two of the three following

1 -Price: Pretend for a moment that you are selling life insurance. If you were really able to offer a $100,000,000 life insurance policy for $1/month, your buyer would not need to research additional information, compare policies or need additional education - they would immediately purchase from you based solely on the fact that they are receiving an incredible (an unrealistic!) deal on life insurance. (If you find a company that offers this, please let us know!)

2 - Education, Knowledge & Information: Customers like to know exactly what they are buying, how the product/service works, how it will benefit them and to be well-informed about the details encompassing their decision. Referencing the life insurance example above, most people need to be educated about how their life insurance policy works as well as understand how it going to benefit them. The less informed a buyer is, the more reliant they will be on finding the lowest price due to a lack of understanding. Educating your buyer takes time.

3 -Relationships & Trust: Customers do business with people that they know, like and trust. Establishing this type of relationship with a buyer can take time, especially when selling higher ticket products and services.

Unless you are incredibly famous or plan selling your products for free, you are going to need establish a relationship with your buyer and educate them about your product or service. Long sales cycles are a result of the time it takes to educate buyers and establish relationships with them.

Example: You’ve been working with a customer for 6 months, have presented your product to them multiple times and have continued to follow up with them by providing them with additional resources to understand exactly how your product will benefit them, how it works and why it’s better than competitors. Although you haven’t solidified a real relationship with your buyer, you decide to call them and offer a discount on price to shorten the sales cycle. Here, you achieved educating your buyer and offering the best price to win their business.

Example: Instead of offering a discount and shortening your sales cycle, you continue following up with your customer with educational content while also injecting a bit of your personality into your follow-up efforts. Instead of relying on price to shorten the sales cycle, you rely on maintaining your relationship with the client over a period of time until they know, like and trust that doing business with you is the best decision. Although this will lengthen the sales cycle, you will be able to receive an agreement to purchase at a higher price.

Unfortunately, most salespeople and businesses rely on manipulating prices to incentive their customers to do business faster because they don’t understand how to increase the speed at which they can educate their buyers and often fail to establish a proper relationship with their buyer.

I invite you to learn how to shorten your sales cycles, create long-term relationships with clients and keep your prices high by activating your 48-hour free trial to Stupar Sales Academy.

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