Time Is Great for Wine but Lousy for Sales
This guest blog was contributed by Brad Roderick.
Not being much of a wine guy, I do at least know that certain fine wines should be allowed to age before they reach their full potential. And having spent a lot of years in the sales profession, I likewise know that, in general, aging is not good when it comes to driving revenue and profit growth; aging pipelines and aging opportunities are particularly detrimental in this scenario.
You’ve probably heard, said or thought, “It’s taking forever for these guys to make a decision!” We innately understand that the faster we can bring a deal together, the faster we can bring a new account on board and start focusing on the next opportunity – oh, and get paid. But this is only a small part of the story of “the high cost of time.”
Remember the comment about sales and driving revenue and profit growth? This is where time can work against us. In general, the longer it takes to get to a decision, the less likely the sale is to happen. If the sale does happen, usually the price and the profits have dropped. In other words, time costs something — in missed opportunities, lost or decreased revenue, and lost or decreased profit. Sounds pretty expensive, doesn’t it?
This happens for two reasons:
1) The “Let me think it over” mentality. After all, if the buyer is thinking it over and you aren’t part of that thought process and discussion, do you really think that they will find new reasons or validation to shift the decision in your favor? Not likely, is it? Of course not. People don’t like change, and unless there is a compelling reason — preferably emotional — they will continue doing what they have been doing, and in this case, that’s not buying from you.
2) Professional buyers are better at this than you or me. They know that the more they string a decision out, the more likely the salesperson is to drop the price or provide something else as an incentive. Result? Margin takes a dive.
Think about it this way: A smart buyer (the buyer in a position to buy a lot of what you have to offer) wants to treat the seller like a cheap cut of meat and slow-cook them forever. The longer you stew, the better you taste – to them.
Yes, some sales have longer cycles than others. But instead of pointing out how a certain type of sale requires more time than another, let’s challenge ourselves to proportionally shave some time off of all of them.
Contact Brad at BRoderick@inkcycle.com.
Brad Roderick is executive vice president of InkCycle Inc. He is an industry veteran with 20 years of experience in OEM and aftermarket supplies and more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience. He is an active member of the remanufacturing industry as an author, trainer and speaker focusing in the areas of industry trends, strategy, sales and marketing, and environmental sustainability.
Posted on Aug 15, 2012