This is the 6th is my series of articles on the 10 Kurlan Sales Competencies That Are Key to Building a Sales Culture.
SLOW DOWN TO SPEED UP
Your salespeople can't wait to do the things at which they are:
- most competent
- most comfortable
- having the most fun
- in control
- in the spot light
The problem with all of that is with what they do:
- tell your story
- provide capabilities
- give references
- do proposals
- give quotes
- use company resources
and when they do it:
- as soon as they can!
When your salespeople do what they are most comfortable with and most adept at, and they do it early in the sales cycle, they fail to develop any urgency for action and the result is an opportunity that doesn't gain traction, move, or close.
In the process I introduced in Baseline Selling, all of the above activity would take place between 3rd Base and Home Plate, but your salespeople are doing it between 1st Base and 2nd Base.
So what should they be doing between 1st and 2nd Bases?
- slow down
- ask more questions than anyone else
- ask better questions than anyone else
- ask tougher questions than anyone else
- identify problems they can solve
- develop a relationship
- demonstrate their expertise (through questions, not presenting)
- develop trust
- slow down some more
- when they think they've asked enough questions, continue asking questions
The slower they go between 1st and 2nd Base, the more quickly the sales cycle will flow. If you want to shorten their sales cycle, get them to slow down!
(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan