Research shows that the longer someone stays in the buying cycle without making a purchasing decision, the less likely they are to buy.
Long buying cycles are good for absolutely no one. To make matters worse, many sales professionals unnecessarily elongate the process.
Here are the 10 biggest danger zones that if avoided, will shorten the buying cycle with every customer.
Danger Zone #1: The Long Buying Cycle
Long buying cycles do nothing but decrease the chances of getting a sale. Why? Because long cycles cause homebuyers to become unmoored from their emotional impulse, and it is that very emotion that spurs a purchase decision.
Danger Zone #2: The Poorly Laid-Out Sales Office
Customers make first impressions in nanoseconds. They proceed in the minutes that follow to form opinions that last. Far too many sales offices serve only to confuse the buying mind, and a confused mind says “No.” What can you do to clean up the sales office environment?
Danger Zone #3: The Boring Sales Office Experience
How would your prospects rate the initial sales office experience? For most, the answer would be a resounding “meh.” But that initial experience sets the stage for everything that follows. Are your salespeople really promoting the right energy, enthusiasm and promise?
Danger Zone #4: Stale Discovery Questions
Too many sales practitioners obsess over the what without understanding the why. Too many question patterns are focused on what the customer is moving to while neglecting to determine what the customer is coming from.
Danger Zone #5: Poorly Trained Temps
Make no mistake: the temp in your sales office represents your entire organization. And yet far too often sales offices are staffed with poorly prepared temps who serve only to diminish the shopping experience. How can you redesign that initial experience?
Danger Zone #6: Poor Online-to-Onsite Integration
The online and onsite worlds are defined by a perpetual gap far too often. The customer experience must be perceived to be 100% seamless. What can you do to design that integration with the customer’s best experience in mind?
Danger Zone #7: Deal-Based Presentations
The quicker a sales professional talks about terms, the less likely it is that they will get the sale. Talking about deals, incentives and discounts will only throw the value equation into confusion. The one-word strategy of great salespeople: defer.
Danger Zone #8: Unimaginative Follow-Up
Most follow-up is just flat-out boring and completely forgettable. But imaginative follow-up is happily memorable. Is your sales staff guilty of follow-up only by boring and delete-able form e-mails? Perhaps it’s time to pour new life into the process!
Danger Zone #9: The Horrible Registration Card Experience
The registration card is vital to our marketing efforts, but the process of capturing information is only as valid as the information itself. What can you do to create an environment where your customer actually wants to give you accurate information?
Danger Zone #10: Failure to Measure “Visit One” Closing Questions
Asking for the sale on “Visit One” (defined as a first in-person visit) demonstrably reduces buying cycle time. What can you do to track and measure this important benchmark? Does you sales team culture promote a “Visit One Closing Question”mindset?