Selling is a poor word for what salespeople do. The word itself suggests pitching, convincing and closing. This is a persuasion view of selling i.e. influencing people to buy. The logical assumption then is that if you want to sell more, you get better at pitching, persuading and closing.
There is a major problem with persuasion view of selling. it assumes all the work – and “power” – lies with the salesperson, when in reality you cannot make a sale on your own. You need the participation of the buyer. That means you have to secure the buyer’s time.
Buyers and prospects don’t give you their time easily. They put down two conditions:
- They need to see you as a resource (not a personality), worth spending time with.
- They need to see what your proposed schedule of engagement looks like.
Very effective salespeople “train” their prospects to work with a timetable, and they can do that because the prospect or buyer respects them. It means that both parties are working voluntarily together with both giving the necessary time commitment. Equally, if you are selecting the wrong level of contact or quality of prospect, they will not work with any timetable you propose. The timetable approach enables you to test the quality of your targeting – your sweet spot choices.
When a buyer sees you have a way of working, they will either co-operate or not. If they don’t see you as a resource worth talking to, they will not co-operate. So ask yourself the question, am I worth talking to? If you are, you can establish a timetable with every prospect in your pipeline. When you do, you will sell more and reduce the length of your sales cycle – significantly.