Recently I have been working with a sales consultancy client whom was struggling in getting sales pushed over the line. They have an incredible service and a really good marketing strategy – however when it came to getting sales through the door she seemed to struggle.
After some consultation and looking at their sales process the answer for this became clear.
She was not asking for the sale.
Despite putting a lot of work in to find the right customer, to develop a relationship, offer brand awareness and to even at times go as far as to discuss pricing, my client was not getting to the end of the sales cycle and asking for the sale.
I explained the fault to her like this: “It’s like planting a tomato plant to eventually harvest the gorgeous sweet fruit, without ever picking and enjoying them”.
Imagine yourself in this situation. You yourself are looking to be able to enjoy some beautiful tomatoes from your own garden. You spend a lot of time, money and effort in researching how to do this. You go to the local garden centre and hunt down the best compost available. It is not cheap, but you know that with this right compost you will have a good yield of fruit. You then go home and research where is best to grow the tomatoes. You find the right position in the garden and set it up correctly as per the information you have gathered. Finally, after some consultation you find the right seeds for your requirements. These seeds require everything you have bought and in theory the conditions are perfect! You go ahead and plant the seeds and get excited at the prospect of nurturing them as they develop!
After a course of weeks and months you tend to these plants. You water them, feed them, use supports to help them grow and watch in anticipation as they grow inch by inch.
Following a long summer of work – the tomatoes are ripe. They have developed from a young green colour to a vibrant and eye catching red and they are awaiting to be picked. All they need know is for you to pop over, pick them, and enjoy them just as nature intended.
But you don’t.
You can see the fruit there waiting for you. They look so good and ready to go. But you don’t approach them. And you do not enjoy them.
Over time the fruit starts to rot. The once ‘fire truck’ red fruit is turning an off crimson and are becoming softer by the day. Eventually, the tomatoes fall from the stems of the plant and land on the floor where the birds and other creatures can enjoy them instead.
Before you know it, all of the effort you put in to these tomatoes have gone to waste and you will never know just how good they tasted.
But this happens so often in business. Perhaps I too have been guilty of it too. I always coach people that people are most likely to buy when their desire is at the highest. I am sure you already have, but let’s quickly utilise the above scenario into a typical sales cycle format;
You as the business owner or sales professional have spent a lot of time and money in finding the right customer for the product or service you offer. By this, I mean you have spent money on advertising and marketing. You have spent time researching the market place to find out the best places to market and hoping that by doing so you will find the right match. Over time, you do! You find a prospective customer whom is the perfect match to your offerings and they make themselves available to you. You start to offer direct marketing, develop a rapport or relationship with them. You start to gain their trust and start to ask them direct questions about their needs and what they are aiming to get from you. Hell, you might even send them a proposal to tell them your fees and exactly what they can get from you.
As this cycle goes on they become closer and closer to being ready to buy from you. At the height of their desire, they are ready to buy. Their buying signals may be on offer for you to see (such as a tomato being ripe and ready to pick) or may be hidden and awaiting you to come and question them further. However, they are ready to buy.
If you do not pick the fruit, or ask for the sale – how on Earth are you going to get the sale? There will be some customers who do come to you and tell you they want to buy, but then does that make you a sales professional or just an order taker? Have you done 100% of your job requirements?
Do not ever be afraid to ask for the sale. It does not have to be a grovelling request nor does it have to be seen as a manipulative way of getting the sale. Simple questions like: “Are you ready to take up my offer?” or, “I am ready to get to work for you: are you in a position to start?” can get the sale over the line.
When you are not getting the sales results you want, be sure to look at your entire cycle. Not just your product, not just your marketing, but your sales closing too.
If you are not sure where to start then get in touch. My team and I can help you get your sales back on track and close you more sales than you could ever expect.
Paragon Sales Solutions are Leicester’s leading sales consultants, offering:
– Sales Contracts
– Sales Training
– Social Media Management
We cater for any size business, and what makes us stand out is that we truly care. Our services can be catered for your business and our sales professionals will work tirelessly to ensure your sales targets are met. Be sure to visit our website for more details on how our sales solutions can help your business.