Timing is everything in sales.
You can call a prospect one week, and they will put the phone down on you, and you can call them the next, and you’ll close a sale.
One of the reasons for this is that situations change.
Maybe your prospect did not need your solution last week, but they read an article or saw an event that convinced them they did this week.
If you’ve worked in sales for any length of time, I’m sure you or someone in your team has made a sale to a prospect that one of your colleagues had been calling for months without success.
More often, this comes down to the timing rather than the salesperson’s ability.
You’ll also come across prospects who sound red hot when you first speak to them and cold as ice or impossible to reach the next.
The ‘Buying Zone’ is a term I use to describe a period in which your prospects are in a psychological state of mind where they’re ready to invest in your solution.
But this zone does not last forever.
It can last for days, hours, or even just a matter of minutes.
If you sell low-priced solutions, your prospect can likely make a decision the same day; but if you fail to capitalise on this and take too long to follow up, they will either buy from your competitor or decide not to buy at all.
To give you an example, I walked into a sports store a couple of months back to buy a new pair of football boots.
I knew what make, model, and size I wanted because I had seen them on the internet, but I wanted to ensure the fit was comfortable.
The service I received was so slow that I walked out without the boots and bought a different pair from another store a few weeks later.
I can also remember times when I ended up not buying anything at all due to the salesperson being poor at their job.
I’ve sold multiple solutions to thousands of companies worldwide and can tell you from experience that if you give your prospects too much breathing room, they will always convince themselves why they should not invest in your solution.
When you reach the point in the sales process where your prospect is in the buying zone, you must complete the transaction before that time zone expires.
You can discover if your prospect is in the buying zone by asking how they heard about you, listening out for early buying signals and asking how long they have been looking for a solution.
Prospects in the buying zone will often try and rush you through the sales process, send lots of buying signals, and will often come from specific sources such as customer referrals or paid marketing.
Again, I will stress the importance of never letting a prospect rush you through the sales process, but I will also warn you that prospects in the buying zone are like an endangered species.
When they’re gone, they’re gone.