All Time is Not Created Equal
Every minute of time is not created equal. When was the last time you got a $100,000 order out of the blue while you were diligently checking your email? Yeah! The average sales person spends many hours a day going through their email as if it were critically important. There is five dollar an hour activity and there is $500 an hour activity. Learn to be discriminatory with your time and learn to know where your greatest yields and returns are for your investment of your time.
It is estimated by Miller Heiman that only 5 to 15% of the average sales person's day is spent conducting what could be described as crucial selling activities. So make sure you use your time wisely. This percentage of time should be much higher.
Customers spend a lot less time making decisions on your offerings and do it a lot sooner in the sales process than most sales people realize. On average customers make final decisions, pro or con, in 50% of the cases early on in the sales process.
However, sales people escalate their time investment, their resources and their passions as a sales cycle expands in time. Their time investment is the reverse of the customer's typical time investment. Their efforts are grossly out of sync with the way deals typically go down.
In the world of selling time definitely does not heal all wounds, rather time wounds all deals. The longer deals stay out there in time, the greater the likelihood they will implode. No news is good news just does not hold true in the selling profession. Know eventually at time is enemy number one.
Parkinson's Law dictates that decision-making will expand in importance and complexity in relationship to the time allotted for its completion. Flexibility and time is the key to decision making for customers. The more options and flexibility your customers have, the longer it will take them to make decisions.
As a sales person you want to create as much as possible a sense of urgency where yesterday is too early and tomorrow is too late. Balance is critical and so is timing. The more time they take, the less likely they will typically buy.
In real estate the three most important things are location, location, location. Well in sales it is timing, timing, timing. Make sure you time your deals at the optimal time your customer is in a position to make decisions. Do not prematurely time your deals because it will cheapen your offering.
Collaboration is such a great tool of time in selling because it creates a division of labor. Get your customer to invest resources early on in the sales process. When they do put skin into the game, they tend to use their time more wisely. Your selling posture should consistently project your belief that you are willing to invest your time as long as the customer is willing to return the favor.
Customers ultimately will not give you their time unless you take the time to first understand their business and their most pressing issues. The harder you sell and the less due diligence you do on the front end of the sales process, the more you need to prepare yourself for longer selling cycles, wasted time and effort, and unending frustration.