Rushing the Close

A common mistake that a lot of salespeople make is to rush the sale. There are a few reasons I can think of that would make a salesperson rush a sale and none of them are good. A sale has timing. As you get more familiar with your business, the sales process, and typical lead times, you will have more of a feel for the timing. As you get more of a feel for the timing, the tendency to rush things will go away.

In order to have a feel for the timing, you must know quite a bit about your prospect. Are they ready to buy, just looking, investigating real options, or are they ready to go under? Are you talking to the actual decision maker, the committee, or just the person assigned to gather the best options to present to another group inside the company? All these steps are crucial and none can be rushed. They have their timing. On the other side of the coin, you don’t want to wait too long and miss the boat when the decision is made either.

You also need to know a lot about your own company’s typical sales cycle. What steps usually have to take place before the next step in the cycle can be reached? If your company has spent any time figuring all this out, then the steps that they suggest probably really do have to happen just as they say they do. Try to follow them.

All of this gives you a feel for the process. When applied to a particular prospect as to what steps and about how long each of these steps are going to take, you will better know when to attempt the next one. Experience is the best teacher, but you should also draw upon your management and marketing people’s expertise.

I’ve talked a lot about the timing of a sale, but what makes salespeople rush things? Here are a few reasons. Nothing is in the sales queue. They did not do enough prospecting. There are no sales coming in. Basically, the salesperson relied on the few prospects brought their way instead of keeping their prospect pipeline filled to the brim. If you have to push the prospects you have instead of having enough prospects to cover in the meantime, then you need to focus on your job. If you are constantly prospecting and keeping your sales funnel full at the top, then sales will have a way of working themselves out. It is a game of numbers after all.