What is It?
Pace isn’t everything in life. But let’s admit it – moving in slow motion can be boring sometimes. That’s why people pack a speedway at a NASCAR event and not the long rallies of a Formula One Race that can take days to be complete. Basketball and baseball games are more popular than golf because they are of shorter durations than the game of golf. This is an age of instant results or instant gratification. The busy mother has to buy a DVD after her aerobics class and then dash back home to be with her 6 year old to help with homework before she can prepare dinner and then finally get the time to watch the DVD with her 6 year old daughter at bedtime. There is hardly any time to talk to her friends about the DVD and whether the movie was good or bad. That’s not a big deal; at least the DVD will serve the purpose today. If it’s good it’s good, if not she is never going to buy another one with the same title. Simple.
Society’s craving for convenience has resulted in another form of a grab and go thing that has become a rage – speed dating. Barring driving, speed works in many situations because today life is moving at a hectic pace. There are even people that do not think much about the results or consequences. They do not probe much about the quality. What they see is what they get. They have minutes to make decisions. If they think a restaurant could be good, they go ahead and eat there. Repenting or rejoicing is saved for later. For the moment they can think only of the hunger.
In tandem with today’s pace and mindset, speed selling has caught up with the imagination of buyers and sellers. Speed selling is a selling event or sales training process where a seller typically spends less time with each prospective buyer and moves on to the next buyer quickly until he finally makes a sale. The speed selling training exercise can help new and veteran sales professionals to understand the true needs of the prospect faster, while focusing on articulating value at every point in the sales process. Much like a dating service where prospective partners can size each other up for compatibility within minutes in speed selling the buyer can know whether the seller can meet his requirements and the seller would sense immediately whether the prospect is likely to buy from him. The beauty of it all is that it happens fast without wasting much time from either person’s side. This saves precious time and the seller can move on to the next prospect without much delay. The over all sales efficiency increases by this method as more prospects are covered in less time.
Why Buyers Prefer Speed Selling
- For the buyers that are indecisive about a purchase, speed selling is a boom. It can end the “storm in the tea cup” kind of turmoil brewing in the mind of the customer and closing of the sale would result in much needed relief for him. They would be relieved to have overcome the niggling pull and push going in their minds
- There are buyers that are a bit adventurous and venture in to unexplored territories to try out newer products, lesser known companies, or give other reputed brand names a chance. They relish the privilege of being the first in their respective business and social circles to give verdict about the product.
- Speed selling cuts a lot of what the prospects think as sales or small talk and saves them valuable time.
Why Sales Professionals Prefer Speed Selling
- You can sell more in less time
- It saves a lot of energy and allows them to concentrate on bigger sales with more prospects
- Speed selling can be tried with prospects and suspects. A prospect is someone who has a need, desire, money and authority to purchase now or in the next 30 days. S suspect is someone who is “kicking tires” and is not really serious about making a purchasing decision. More time is then spent with the prospect, not the less important suspect and more sales are made.
Speed Selling Training Methods
Speed selling works best in an open atmosphere where a number of buyers and sellers for a single products or service meet up. The potential buyers know that there are more than one supplier of the product and the sellers don’t latch all their hopes on to one prospect. The sellers spend less time with the prospects then they normally do, so do the prospects with them. Within a very short time they sort out each others needs, desires and decide if they are a good fit for a transaction.
The methods of speed selling don’t deviate largely from traditional sales approaches. They are more like speed dating methods. What you see is what you get. But they require due consideration as they are subtlety involved in this approach.
- Speed selling requires thorough preparation. It can be done with role playing exercises with your colleagues or friends before actual speed selling events occur. Apportion a short period of time (5 or 10 minutes for each prospect). Set a maximum time limit beyond which you are not going to spend with any prospect.
- Prepare your sales presentation. Make it brief. There is simply no time for lengthy and time consuming “sales speak”. Keep the unnecessary details away. Make your pitch short and crisp. But make it incisive and punchy. Include only the vital points. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
- Prepare a set of objections that you might face in an actual sales scenario. And devise their answers. The answers also should be brief.
- Practice to complete your presentation within the stipulated time without looking at your wristwatch. Repeatedly looking at the watch could give the impression that you are not interested in the prospec.t
- Be presentable. Be well groomed and look presentable, “dress for success” for the speed selling occasion.
- Be relaxed and have a positive frame of mind. This is just another way of selling. There is bound to be some amount of success. If there is none, no problem. It will be a learning exercise.
- Be punctual and arrive in time. Complete all the formalities and paper work well before the actual meetings start. Keep a few minutes in hand to “get into the zone” before you start meeting up prospects. Pep yourself up for the occasion.
- Treat each prospect as a potential customer. No one should be ignored, because it doesn’t consume much time. The sales executive can afford to spend a few minutes on each prospect even if it doesn’t convert in to sales. It is good trying and losing rather than losing by not trying.
- Qualify the prospect by using open-ended questions like, who what, when where and why.
- Focus on your current prospect. Keep eye contact and body language positive and stand at the ready to communicate openly and with enthusiasm with the prospect and do not look over his/her shoulder to see who is next.
- Listen intently and ask pertinent questions in a polite and inoffensive manner.
- Always stay focused and bring the conversation back to your business and the true needs and desires of the prospect.
- Be honest with the prospects. The prospects have the luxury of talking to your competitors and finding out what is the truth. So sound convincing. If you are caught off guard in one briefing or presentation the domino effect could spoil your entire speed selling effort.
- Be prepared to answer the prospects objections. Think on your feet, there is no time to go back and ponder over the issue and comeback with an answer. Give answers then and there. To do that you must do your home work.
- Look for the body language and observe the use of words. If the prospect expresses interest seize the opportunity. Almost the same verbal cues work here that work in case for traditional sales.
- Encourage the prospect to quit delaying and take a decision now. In a traditional sale normally when a prospect dithers it is advised to spend some time and persuade the prospect to buy now. But here you just finish it with one or two questions.
- Do not linger for more than the maximum set time limit. Try to close within the time limit set. If it happens within that time frame fine, if it doesn’t probably it will not happen by spending more time on it.
- Move on to the next prospect without wasting much time, despite the outcome of the last attempt. This is the only step speed selling deviates from speed dating. In speed dating the rejection or selections are not known immediately, but in speed selling it is out then and there. Do not get disheartened by rejections. Also do not get elated by a sale. Some people don’t like too much of excitement in the voices they are listening to. Maintain a steady tone. Equanimity is the key. There will be plenty of time to rejoice at the end of it all.
- Always be courteous and treat each prospect with respect irrespective of whether the prospect buys or not. May be your other prospect that is interested in buying from you is just standing a few feet away and observing you. Always thank your prospects sincerely at the end of your sales talk or pitch. Appreciate them for spending time listening to you.
With a positive attitude and the necessary salesmanship qualities speed selling can yield amazing results quickly. Following these methods should result in a fair amount of success.
About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.
Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.
Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching
Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)