One common objection sales people face when making prospecting calls, is when the potentially prospect says “now is not the right time”. While timing is important, and understanding how specific triggers can help improve your timing, the fact remains that perfecting your timing will only help you in a very (very very) small way, in a very narrow part of you potential prospect segment. Here is why.
Timing is only important with two buyer groups, Passive, those who have realized the Status Quo no longer meets their requirements, and have decided to learn or check out “what’s out there”. Not actively looking, but getting feelers out, looking at some web sites, information, getting acclimatized, hence Passive. The other group are those Active buyers who have decided to buy, even what to buy, is now just down to where and from whom; this is where the order takers thrive. But together these two groups are a small part of the market, maybe 30%, but the remaining 70%, the Status Quo, timing, will by definition always be off. As a result, you have two choices, the popular choice for many whose business cards say Sales Representative, is to avoid prospecting and fully engaging with these potential buyers; taking the advice of some questionable experts who will encourage them to “nurture”. “After some nurturing, when they are ready, they will call you, since you stuck with them.” OK
So if you want to really change the outcome, read make more sales and generate more revenue, you need to work on the Status Quo, the 70% where you will always be too early, the 70% where other fear to tread.
The reality of timing is it will ALWAYS be either too Late or too Soon. If they are Passive or Active buyers, it will always be too late, and if they are in Status Quo, it will always be too early, because they do not perceive a “need”, until something changes and it needs to be NOW.
That being said, it is not as difficult to overcome the challenge as some will make you believe. First resolve to engage the entire market, including those currently removed from the market. Because you not only know that their circumstance will change, and what may seem too early becomes, “I need it now”, but given your experience you know what is likely to be the catalyst for that change, the challenges they will face and the solution they will need to resolve it.
How? By studying and understanding what led to that moment in the past with existing clients, prospects, and deals that did not go your way. Once you know this, by tracking deals you’ve won, lost and those that ended in no decision. You will understand what events led up to and caused the change, with that you can prepare, position and act. It takes work, sometimes boring work, but with the right tools, and right approach, you can take timing and turn it your way.
By studying past outcomes and inputs, you can take proactive steps to ensure that you don’t enter the fray too late, and always capitalize on opportunities other sales people and prospects will say is too soon.
It is never the right time if you relinquish control, and always the right time if you are willing to put in the work, and ask, “is it ever the right time?”
What’s in Your Pipeline?