Part 8: Use Time to Your Advantage if You Actually Want Success

If you’ve been following along in our series 8 Ways to Increase Your Price, I have no doubt your sales motivation and your selling skills are accelerating.

If you missed any of the past posts in this series, you can revisit those:

Know at least 3 benefits the customer actually wants

Selling features will kill you every time

Believe in what you sell

Increase your pipeline

Just say “no”

Never enter into a discussion about price

Accept that you can’t close every sale

We’ve reached our last post in this series:

8. Use time to your advantage

Time is a great tool when it’s leveraged.  A customer can’t begin to benefit from what you sell until they buy.  The sooner they buy, the sooner they can begin benefiting.

Even so, do not rush a sale at a lower price when waiting and being more effective with your sales process could result in the sale at a more profitable price.  The worst case situation is when the customer uses time against you.

The clock is ticking…

Time is a great tool for salespeople; however, for too many salespeople, time is a tool that gets used against them.  The power in pricing occurs when the salesperson uses time to their advantage.

The first piece the salesperson needs to know is the customer’s timeline.  The more the salesperson can understand what the customer’s timeline is, the greater the probability of not only closing the sale, but doing so at a higher profit.  This does not mean the salesperson can’t push the customer’s decision making timeline. In fact, that is the point.  By pushing the customer’s timeline, the salesperson has the opportunity to create a sense of urgency — and with urgency comes profit.

Any time urgency can be put into the decision making process, the greater the profit potential.  The key is to make sure it’s urgency felt by the customer and not by you, the salesperson.

When the salesperson feels urgency, then profit can disappear quickly.  It disappears for several reasons.  First, the salesperson will be far more hesitant in putting forth a full price.  They will be quick to offer a discount or something additional to the offering to entice the customer to buy.  Second, as they make the offer, they will do so much more timidly, and a sharp customer will immediately pick up on this and leverage it for an even bigger discount.

Time is a powerful tool but only if it is used as a point of leverage with the customer.

The easiest way to feel what the customer’s sense of urgency might be is to do a trial close around a very quick date.  The trial close should be on something smaller so as not to jeopardize the larger sale, but by offering the customer something on a short lead-time, it is possible to quickly determine what their level of urgency is.

Knowing this early in the sales process can then help guide the overall process in a manner that not only shortens the total time, but also increases the price.  If it is not possible to do a trial close on a smaller part of the sale, then an alternative is to offer a follow-up meeting date on a very short lead-time as a way of seeing how willing the customer is to meet quickly.  Their willingness to meet quickly or how they respond to your request will tell you a lot about their buying timeline.

If you want to maintain good sales motivation, you absolutely have to look closely at selling skills like this.  Use time to  your advantage if you actually want success.

If you have found this post or any of the other posts in this series helpful, be sure to retweet and share this post. It contains all the links to the previous links in the series. Thanks!

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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