—By SDG contributor Glenn Chambers
Let’s face it: In today’s technology-reliant business environment, prospects are increasingly impatient, especially during the sales cycle. However, if you can quickly manage the sales cycle, you’re in a great position to shine above your competitors and win the business. Here are five tips that can help you shorten the sales cycle and, ultimately, win more business.
1. Define your value proposition early in the sales process.
To create the most effective value proposition, you need to identify your customer base and determine some of your customers’ biggest hurdles. State how your services solve those problems and why you differ from competitors. Customers often see signage as a commodity. By communicating your value proposition early, you can help customers understand why your services can solve their business challenges.
2. Review the general outline of your terms with the prospect before submitting an official proposal and ask for feedback.
This helps you avoid any unexpected objections, which can often slow down the process.
3. Provide a timely estimate.
Customers can be impatient, especially when on a tight deadline, and if another sign shop provides an estimate before you, it gives your competitor a chance to establish the relationship, build trust and look more professional. But if you can deliver an estimate that fits the prospect’s budget and needs before any competing shops, you made it easy for the prospect to move forward with the contract.
4. Ask for the sale.
This may seem like obvious advice, but you’d be surprised how many salespeople skip this step out of fear of rejection or sounding too pushy. However, a simple question may be just what the prospect needs to close the deal. Signage projects are often deadline driven, so try asking your prospect, “In order to finish by your deadline, we need to start by XX date. Can we draw up a contract, so we can get started?” Not only does asking for the sale speed up the process but you also come across as a proactive business partnership, which can inspire confidence among your prospects.