and Your Client
who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily
and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”
- Cecil B. DeMille, Sunshine and
I can think
of one our sales reps that recently closed
two transactions in one week for one of our open enrollment
classes. One transaction occurred over the period of one day.
A person called in asking for information on a class and, by the
end of the day, had chosen to sign an agreement to register. A
second person also signed an agreement to register, nearly five-and-a-half
months after their initial
contact. Both transactions were the same size and both were
for a similar training class yet they both went through completely
different sales cycles. One took over one hundred fifty more days
than the other to go through.
Now, some might
say, why expend all that energy on that one sale? Well, let’s
think about it. How much energy was truly expended on that sale?
Throughout the entire
process, that customer had expressed interest in a particular
class. Their timing, unfortunately, was always off. Either their
schedule was too busy, they were traveling or simply had difficulty
getting approval. The entire time, they were interested. At
no time did the customer say, “I don’t have time for this class
so stop calling me.” It was something they wanted to do.
So, what if
the rep had stopped
calling? They would’ve obviously lost out on that one sale
but they would also have lost out on any follow-up business that
would’ve accompanied that customer. You see, in their industry,
that customer is one a formidable company. They are a “household”
name in the business world and may lead to a great deal of business.
may lead to quite a windfall for that sales rep… it’s already led
to two follow-up sales. Throwing in the towel when all the right
signals were there would’ve been unwise.
Think about the following questions
when pursuing opportunities:
How long is my traditional
this opportunity look feasible, even if I’m past my average sales
large is the possible
possible opportunities can come from this sale?
this a referenceable account?
would happen if I let my competitor
get a hold of this company?
much effort will I have to exert to keep this opportunity alive?
kinds of signals is
the customer sending me?
the customer being amicable with me or are they getting
I have a system in place that allows me to stay on top of this opportunity?
questions to determine how much effort to put into an opportunity.
Even small opportunities can turn into great successes.