By: Steve Riat on August 29th, 2023
Accelerating Customer Engagement: How Slowness Can Cost You Deals
In the realm of sales, the adage "time kills deals" reigns supreme. While I can't pinpoint the exact source of this quote, its significance in sales is crystal clear. The lesson at hand is straightforward: speed is your ally. The faster you present a pricing proposition to a potential customer, the greater your chances are of sealing the deal. Allow me to illustrate this point with a personal anecdote from a few years back.
I found myself in need of a new furnace/AC unit for my home. It wasn't an urgent situation, but rather a case of my current unit not meeting my needs. I decided to solicit bids from three different providers in my local area. As fate would have it, I accepted an offer even before the final bidder had the chance to present their proposal. This experience sparked a thought: if a company couldn't deliver a bid within a reasonable timeframe, how likely were they to handle installation and servicing in a timely manner?
Now, it's only fair to address the counterarguments. Some may argue that a thorough assessment, designing, and engineering process are essential components of crafting an accurate quote. While this is undoubtedly true, the crux lies in prioritization. Often, these technical intricacies get delegated to a lead technician, adding to their existing workload. Predictably, day-to-day exigencies tend to overshadow new opportunities, placing an additional burden on engineers.
Effective customer engagement hinges on evaluating various stages of the process, including:
- Transition from a Marketing Qualified Lead to re-engagement with the customer
- Initial contact leading up to an onsite interaction or the subsequent step
- Onsite visit transitioning into the engineering phase
- Engineering work culminating in a comprehensive quote
- Quote submission leading to deal closure
- Close followed by follow-up
Every stage merits attention; however, it's challenging to slap a uniform timeline on each of them. It's important to acknowledge that diverse deal sizes demand varying amounts of time for preparation. Yet, it is crucial to realize that every moment a proposal languishes anywhere other than the customer's hands, it increases the risk of losing that deal.
Why does this urgency matter? Consider the motivation behind a customer's outreach. They have contacted you for one of several reasons:
- Discontentment with their current service provider
- A malfunctioning solution
- Their existing solution does not align with their needs
- Shifts in their business operations
These are just a few examples of the driving forces behind customer inquiries. If you stall, the sense of urgency might wane. Their existing provider might manage to mend the issue that prompted their call, or the initial emotion could dissipate.
Bear in mind that initial interaction – from the first point of contact to providing a quote – sets the tone for your future relationship. Slow responses subtly convey that your pace may not align with their business tempo. Demonstrating your agility in rising to the occasion communicates far more than mere efficiency; it signifies your commitment to respecting their time.
Therefore, the axiom holds true: time is an invaluable currency in the world of sales. Swiftness is a virtue, especially when it comes to presenting solutions to potential clients. From that very first interaction, make it clear that your responsiveness reflects your dedication to meeting their needs effectively and efficiently.
To view more sales tips and trainings, visit here.