7 months ago
February 21, 2017

How Slow and Steady Wins the Race for Sales Negotiators

In this article, we’ll discuss how taking your time benefits sales and how rushed sales negotiations can backfire in a big way.

Claire McConnachie

There’s a natural tendency for sales people to drive for a faster, leaner, shorter sales cycle as a route to higher productivity, but fast often means sloppy, and sloppy means disaster for your sales negotiations. The phrase, ‘slow is smooth, smooth is fast’ applies as well to sales as it does elsewhere; taking the slow and steady route will almost always put your sales numbers higher than rushing through the cycle at breakneck speed. In this article, we’ll discuss how taking your time benefits sales in the short term and the long term, and how rushed sales negotiations can backfire in a big way.

Wasted Leads

If you’re moving quickly through the sales cycle, rushing negotiations, you’re almost inevitably dropping your success rate. That means you’re gambling on the idea that you can increase the number of prospects you handle enough to counter the reduced success rate.

The problem here lies with leads; the faster you move through the cycle, the more leads you chew through, the less picky you can be with your leads. There are serious diminishing returns on faster negotiations. In a worst-case scenario, you run dry of reasonable leads entirely, with a wake of ‘could-have-beens’ behind you.

On the flip side, taking your time with sales negotiations and raising your success rate means you work with better leads and achieve a higher success rate. You can also gather and apply data more precisely, because you have more discretion in choosing prospects to target.

Data Application

Taking your time on a sale means more time to gather information and add it to your strategies and tactics. That means you increase your rate of success with the prospect you’re speaking with and your rate of success in the future, with similar prospects. 

Rushing through sales negotiations, you have less time to drill down and pay attention to details, meaning you’ll miss things that could close a recalcitrant sale today, tomorrow, or next month. Over time, all those missed opportunities to learn add up to a much less impressive sales person. Taking your time to gather and apply data in and between sales negotiations will give you much better results in the long term, especially considering the better quality of choice you’ll have in leads.

Buyer’s Remorse

Rushed sales negotiations lead to higher rates of buyer’s remorse. What that means for your situation can vary. For example, if you get repeat business, buyer’s remorse will cut into that: if you have close competition, your buyer will visit them next, and if you don’t but your service isn’t vital, they may drop out of the market entirely. 

If your product is one that can be refunded, buyer’s remorse could be disastrous on multiple levels–a returned sale is often worse for the company than one never made. 

Slow and steady sales negotiations mean developing a relationship with the prospect, one that will keep them satisfied when they look back on the purchase later. How a customer feels about the sales agent and how they were treated does matter; you can’t forget this final ‘stage’ of the sales cycle.

Word of Mouth

Along the same lines of buyer’s remorse, rushing your sales negotiations can poison your reputation in the wild. Sales negotiations should be looked at as not only an opportunity to convince the prospect to buy your product, but as an opportunity to impress the people they tell about the experience.  

Perfect products that sold well out of the gate have failed because of negative word-of-mouth before, and rushed sales negotiations can do their part to poison that well. If your product is not particularly exceptional within the market, this can be a very bad thing, as the buying experience alone often decides the winners and losers of close competition.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.