Time is money, and never is that more true than it is in sales.

Closing deals comes at a cost to the salesperson: the opportunity cost of closing more deals in the same amount of time.

As a salesperson, every call you have should be calculated, and every dialogue should have a meaningful and pre-planned goal.

The good news is that there are often easy things you can do to make deals come in more quickly, without jeopardizing the business relationship.

Here are 10 things you can do today to close more deals:

 1. Disqualify Early

As much as you want to close deals, don't be afraid to disqualify prospects who you think won't buy.  Your time is valuable, and you should spend it with prospects that you have a realistic chance of closing.  Before you book an hour-long call, make sure that the prospect understands entirely what the call will be in regards to, and make sure that they are in a position where you can both gain from the call.

2. Set a Transparent Agenda

Staying on the same page as your prospect is crucial for transacting the deal in a timely, efficient manner. Set an agenda at the beginning of every call, and get the prospect's approval of the agenda.  This way you'll both be on the same wavelength and going towards the same goal. Not being aligned with your client can cause you to go in circles and waste time.

3. Confirm Everything

Before you set a meeting, confirm the time and date and agenda with your prospect.  If they are unsure of whether they can make it, don't book it.  If the agenda doesn't resonate with them, don't book it.  

4. Ask for Budget Early

Qualifying around budget is one of the most effective ways to determine whether the prospect is worth your time and is a realistic buyer.  Going through a lengthly sales process only to realize that your product is outside of their budget is a huge time killer.  Talk about budget early to get it out of the way and move forward.

5. Get Timeline on the First Call

Qualifying around timeline is key for prioritizing your deals.  Before you spend time and resources with your prospect, find out if they want to buy this month or next year.  If they won't be in the market for another 12 months, maybe you want to spend your time with more imminent deals.

6. Keep the Tension Up

If you allow the prospect to feel completely satisfied with their current situation, and you do not stress a sense of urgency, then they won't be compelled to buy.  Sell value by demonstrating the implications of using your solutions versus without so that they feel an eagerness towards making a decision.

7. Respect Your Own Schedule

The time you're spending with one prospect could be spent with another, better-fit client.  There are only so many hours in the day, so make them count.  You should be gaining something from every sales call - you should be learning more about the prospect and moving the deal tangibly forward.  If you're not, focus on deals where you can have a measurable impact.

8. Find Good-Fit Clients

Spending your time wisely starts with finding clients that are a good fit for your business.  The more natural fit the prospect is, the more natural and fluid the sales process will be.  Spending time with poor-fitting clients will be a force when it comes to closing a deal, and will cost you time.

9. Go for the close

If you want deals to close more quickly, you need to ask for the close.  Rarely will prospects ask for a contract right away; it's up to you to incentive a timely close.

10. Instill Confidence

If you can make your prospect feel good about the purchase, they'll be more likely to do it sooner.  Build confidence and rapport throughout your relationship with the prospect in order to facilitate a faster close.

Published on: May 17, 2016