There are no free lunches.
If you had to distill the wisdom of the ages into 1 page, that would be on the top of the list.
I could write an entire book on this subject (now there’s an idea), but today I’m focusing on sales. In particular, the TIME that you invest in sales. I find that many small businesses – and even large businesses – pay little heed to the cost of the TIME that one invests in a sale. Sure, I can work lots of hours, but the problem is knowing HOW and WHERE I should be investing those “lots of hours.”
That time is not free and never recoverable.
This is why qualification is SO important. I was speaking with a client today who sells “big-ticket” items (the investment can be up to $250,000 or more a year). After I made a key introduction to one of the largest companies in a specific industry, my client landed a big meeting. It involved travel costs for him and a technical specialist, as well as an entire day away from other prospects.
The meeting went very well, but one thing that was never discussed was budget. My client didn’t ask the prospect about her budget, and she never brought it up. This is certainly very common, but we can never forget that – as sales professionals – there is no question about the purpose of the meeting: to determine whether or not we should do business together. Budget is a HUGE part of that, and by not exploring the potential investment capability of your prospect, we may spend a great deal of time on a non-starter.
Identify and evaluate your prospect’s needs, and then don’t be afraid to explore the potential budget that he has available to address those needs. You just can’t afford to draw out the process if he never had the willingness to pay for it in the first place.
Can you or your team use some coaching to drastically improve the effectiveness of your sales and business development? Send us an e-mail or give us a call at (202) 640-1908!