Tom Ogden's Blog
- on 23 February 2011
Budgets are shrinking and this puts increased pressure on business development goals and the activities to support them. Closing sales opportunities is a different kind of strategic position today, where multiple sales calls and elaborate presentations are now out the window. Letting opportunities drag on and chasing prospects endlessly is no longer acceptable.
Today, refining the prospect entails zeroing in and consciously reviewing your top clients to establish a profile of why they are indeed your top clients. It is amazing what you will learn. I worked with a firm just today who had a difficult time in this exercise. And truly, it is an exercise and therefore, unless you are in good shape, this too will give you aches and pains.
There is good news in all of this. Not only will you learn vast amounts about why your top clients are with you, you will also learn how to better target prospect that fit this profile. Today, business development professionals need to shorten the selling cycle and there should not be any confusion, or mutual mystification about what will take place. Getting the appointment is not what you should put on your scorecard. Getting a quality meeting is. This is what leads to enhanced relationships that include trust—something we all need in order to define the roles and achieve the objectives.
Shortening the selling cycle means more efficient communications, more effective meetings and the art of qualification throughout the process. If conditions change during the sales process, review these conditions and make a tough decision whether to move forward or not. If not, move on to another prospect.