Recently I received an email offer to participate in an online sales summit. After suggesting I could get involved in the next event, the organizer asked me to promote his upcoming session, which gave me only three business days to react.
I don’t know about you, but three days is nowhere near enough lead time to effectively promote an event. And yet, this type of thing happens all the time in sales. We contact our prospects, and the moment they express interest in our solutions, we push for a quick commitment.
However, in today’s business world, decisions are seldom made quickly, mostly because our key contacts usually have to discuss our solutions with other people—who, by the way, are just as busy as our contacts are.
Case in point: Last summer, I was contacted by a former client who was interested in sales training. We scheduled a telephone call for five weeks later, but two days before our call, he cancelled when something else took priority. It took us several weeks to set up a secondary call and several more to actually connect. By the time we spoke about his situation, more than four months had passed!
When we did finally speak, my client mentioned that it would be at least two months before he’d be able to move forward, because he would first need to hire and on-board several staff members.
The next time you’re pushing for a commitment, put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. Try to see their businesses from their perspectives rather than your own. They are managing multiple projects, running from meeting to meeting and trying to clear days’ worth of unfinished work from their desks.