Do you want to learn how to close deals faster? If you are in sales, or manage a sales force, of course you do.
In the next series of posts, I will share some of the secrets I reveal in my book, Close Deals Faster: The 15 Shortcuts of the Asher Sales Method.The book is the culmination of over 25 years as a sales trainer. In it, I condense the knowledge gleaned from over 200 publications on the art of selling, plus decades of personal experience, into an easily understood and applicable volume.
Part 1 of 10 in this series comes from Chapter One of the book: “Focus on a Few Top Prospects.”
Leads versus Prospects
How many salespeople do you know chase leads all day? And how many are working with actual prospects? What is the difference?
Leads are people we meet or know about who might have a need for our product or service. We might not know anything about them, besides a name and email address or phone number. They can turn into prospects, but first we have to speak to them.
Prospects are those who have passed our qualification process and we deem suitable to pursue. They are who the top salespeople focus on. They are qualified because they have the money or credit and the need for our service or product, whether they are presently aware of that fact or not.
The green salesperson spends all day leaving phone messages or sending emails to dozens or even hundreds of leads, whereas the pros are actively selling to a select number of prospects they have already filtered. When I say “selling: I mean actively moving the buyer along the sales process through contacts, personal visits, demonstrations, test closes, etc.
Why can the pros focus on a smaller number of people and close deals faster? Because they have a better qualification process. They do their research instead of pursuing weak leads. They do not have endless conversations with people who do not fit their company’s definition of a qualified buyer.
Forget the pie in the sky
There is another thing some green salespeople do. Rather than chase 100 leads, they do the extreme opposite and focus entirely on one or two potential “whales” or “home-runs.”
In other words, they spend all their time trying to sell to someone far above their league in hopes of making one huge sale (and commission). The problem is that unless he or she works for a Fortune 500 firm themselves, these big accounts will generally not do business with them.
It is far better to know the ideal customer profile or avatar, and focus on this sweet spot. In this way, salespeople will close deals faster, rather than spend months chasing pipe dreams. This means they must determine who is likeliest to buy from them, such as “consumer electronics companies with $20 to $100 million in annual revenue with a significant Latin American footprint.”
The moral of the story is: focus on your top prospects, those who are likeliest to buy because they fit your customer base, and you will close deals faster. It’s what the latest buzzword ABM is all about, right?
For a deeper look at this subject, please order my book Close Deals Faster: The 15 Shortcuts of the Asher Sales Method which is published by Idea Press and available on Amazon.