- April 22, 2019
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Do shortcuts work in sales?
I can tell you that shortcuts work when you’re driving a car and need either a more direct route to your destination or a route that avoids traffic. Waze helps a lot with that!
Shortcuts work in math when you know what the formula is and how to use it.
But shortcuts in sales? Not usually. Watch this 1:30 video on sales shortcuts and then I’ll share two scenarios where shortcuts can actually be used.
So most shortcuts in sales will only serve to lengthen your sales process because the more milestones you skip, the less you know, the less urgency there is, and the harder it will be for you to overcome the void.
However, there are two shortcuts that do shorten the sales cycle, but there are crucial prerequisites to using them. If you attempt to use them without having met the prerequisites, the shortcuts are doomed to fail.
Before I share the shortcuts, you’ll need context so please watch the first 4:30 of this video on sales process.
Now that you have reviewed the sales process with the milestones, I will share shortcut #1. One of the milestones between 2nd and 3rd base is the timeline. Most salespeople handle that milestone by asking something along the lines of, “When will you be making a decision?” Bad. Salesy. Ineffective. And the answer given is usually sometime in the future, which serves to lengthen the sales cycle. Instead, if you simply ask, “When would you like to have this problem solved?” you will get an answer more in line with “today,” or “yesterday,” or “ASAP.” That not only serves to shorten your sales cycle, it also allows you to take another shortcut by asking, “And when there is urgency to get a problem solved, what kind of shortcuts can you take on your end to move this along?”
4 out of 5 of the bottom 50% of all salespeople have difficulty reaching actual decision makers. They often begin the sales process with the wrong person and then ask to meet the actual decision maker. Naturally, prospects resist and salespeople usually give in, continuing to pitch to the wrong person. That brings us to shortcut #2. One of the milestones between 1st and 2nd base is uncovering the compelling reason to buy. When the decision maker is not engaged, and especially if there is no compelling reason or urgency, intermediaries tend to be hesitant to get the decision maker involved. However, if the compelling reason to buy has been uncovered, there is urgency to solve it, and the salesperson asks, “Who else cares about this?” they’ll immediately hear the names and titles of the people who care – the people who are making the decisions – at which time the salesperson can ask if they might like to offer their opinions on the problem.
Shortcuts work, but only if you use the proper shortcuts and use them at the right time.
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