5 reasons why Friday isn’t a Slow Sales Day

It’s Friday. The weekend is almost here. You’ve had a long week. You have secured some large orders. Now you are looking forward to receiving a large commission check soon.

Friday is not a slow sales dayWhile Friday is still a workday, you figure that you can relax and prepare for the weekend. So you’re kicking back and planning to see a movie, or visit friends, or go to that new hot restaurant you’ve been hearing about.  Maybe you have some administrative work to catch up on. Or maybe you want to catch up on your sales training by watching a video or two at your desk. Or maybe you want to take a long lunch.

After all, you’re thinking to yourself – “Fridays are slow sales days. Most of the key decision makers are taking an early weekend. I can relax.”

Wrong.

Fridays should never be considered a “slow sales day.”

Why?

1). Not all decision-makers are the same – While you may think that all key decision makers are taking a long weekend, that’s not always the case. In fact, decision-makers may be working harder to clean up their workload before they enjoy the weekend. Why? Well, because they’re decision makers and they have a lot of decisions to make.

2). The gatekeeper isn’t around – Chances are the gatekeeper is the real one taking a long weekend while her boss is working. That’s good news for you, because it means you may be able to reach the decision maker without the challenge of going through the gatekeeper.

3). The decision maker may be caught off his guard – Decision makers may think like you. They may feel that those “pesky salespeople” aren’t going to call them on a Friday, so they may end up answering the phone instead of the gatekeeper. And sometimes the decision maker, looking forward to the weekend, maybe more relaxed and open to accepting your phone call.

4). Other salespeople aren’t calling  – Because they feel the decision maker isn’t around, so they make the common mistake of doing admin work, or leaving early for the weekend. With the competition out-of-the-way, that gives you a greater opportunity to reach and speak to the decision maker.

5). You’re more relaxed – After a long week, you may feel more relaxed and less anxious when making sales calls. Knowing that the weekend is upon you, you may actually find yourself being more consultative and conversational with your prospects. Which in turn means more sales for you.

So, the next time Friday rolls around, don’t be lazy. Pretend that Friday is like any other day of the week, and continue with your same high energy workflow.  You may be surprised by the results.

Note: If you like this post, please check out my book – Advice for New Salespeople: Tips to Help your Sales Career

10 ways to Shorten your Sales Cycle

Let’s face it. No one likes a long sales cycle. The longer your sales cycle, the longer it will take you to earn your commission.

I’ve had sales cycles that have lasted anywhere from one week to two years. Sure, sometimes a high-priced item will take longer to sell. That’s a given. But don’t let your prospect treat you like a wimp. Sometimes you need to use a little tough love to ensure that you are not wasting your time. You’re a professional. Act like one.

So, how can you shorten your sales cycle?

1). Decision Maker – make sure you are speaking to the right person at the beginning of your sales cycle. Yes, some prospects will lie and tell you that they are the decision maker. OK. Play along. But start doing some research on LinkedIn or the company’s website to make sure that you are talking to a heavy hitter and not a summer intern.

herding prospects in salesOne good way of avoiding the “decision maker lie trap” is to ask about the decision-making process. Note, I said process, not who is the decision maker. By asking about the process, hopefully your prospect will not lie to you and string you along. Instead, he will explain how his company makes purchasing decisions.  More companies than ever have more than one decision maker, especially if you are dealing with a mid-to-large company. Just like herding cattle, you have to be patient and rope in all the decision makers.

2). Time Line – it doesn’t hurt to ask upfront what your prospect’s timeline is for making a purchasing decision. If they tell you within the few months, hold them to it. If they tell you in 6 months or longer, maybe you should circle back when they have a budget and interest in making a purchasing decision.

3). Pain Points – why now? Is there any urgency in them buying your product or service? What type of problems are they having that you feel you can solve for them? But just don’t ask about pain points – make sure you have a solution that will help them. Clients don’t buy products or services – they buy solutions. Make sure you have one that they can use.

4). Budget – do they have budget to make a purchasing decision? If not, maybe you should check back when they are ready. Sure, you may do a short demo or presentation of what you are selling to gauge their interest, but don’t devote too much time until they are in a better financial situation.

5). Competition – don’t be shy. Ask upfront if they are considering other vendors. Sometimes prospects will surprise you and honestly tell you that they have already considered others, but now they are considering you. That’s great. Ask why they didn’t consider the other vendors to ensure your service or product will meet their expectations. This will put you in a better position to offer real value to your client.

6). Limit Trials – depending on what you are selling, some prospects will want to do more than one trial. That’s OK, but don’t let them string you along.

Salesperson making a phone call, closing7). Firm Scheduled Call-backs – try to set hard scheduled call-backs or follow-up calls. The more specific the day and time of your next appointment, the better chance your prospect is really interested in what you have to offer. Send a calendar invite. Send a short email the day before reminding them of the appointment. Try to hold them to it. If a prospect isn’t willing to schedule firm appointments, maybe he’s not serious. The last thing you want to do is make endless phone calls, or leave countless voicemails and a stream of emails.

8). Ask pre-close questions – along the way, try to measure the client’s interest and determine if there are any objections. The sooner you overcome objections, the  better chance you have to close quickly.

9). Call High – stop wasting time calling low or mid-level managers who don’t like making decisions or who may not be the right people to speak to. Call the CEO or the president. You will be surprised that sometimes he will recommend the best person to speak to in his company. So when you call the real decision maker, you can drop the CEO’s name, and hopefully move the sales process a lot faster.

10). Use various cold calling techniques – making phone calls isn’t enough anymore. Use a combination of email, voicemail and social media (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn) to move your sales process along.

To learn more about shortening your sales cycle, please read Lean Selling: Slash Your Sales Cycle and Drive Profitable, Predictable Revenue Growth by Giving Buyers What They Really Want, by Robert J. Pryor. 

Mr. Pryor’s main argument is that selling is a process, and to be more successful, you need to adopt his best practices and advice to achieve your goals. But he cautions that you can’t do it alone – your entire sales department – indeed your company, must adopt his program.