DON’T WASTE CUSTOMERS TIME – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #10

101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 10:


We all know people are very much busy these days. Customers normally take what they consider an appropriate amount of time to make a decision. So it makes sense not to try to sidestep that, by either rushing them or spinning out the sale. That’s especially true if they don’t see the extra time taken as useful, and it’s worse if they see the process as unnecessarily and uncaringly lengthy.


From book publishers Bantam Press….

Sometimes the time a salesman allowed must be agreed up front, and sometimes too it need to be negotiated. A sales person must try to get time to take the planned pitch, and a customer must accept that if they want to make an informed decision, they must listen to key information about the product and service. The key point here to respect the time customers have available, then actively work on descriptions, indeed your whole pitch, to ensure that you can make a powerful case in the time available.

In some industries people are under more time pressure than in others, and the unremitting nature of that pressure means that sales people have to consider this or they simply cannot do the job. One example is publishing. Large publishers not only have hundreds or thousands of titles in print, they add dozens of new ones every month. A sales person selling to retail bookshops has to find a way of being strikingly succinct. Some titles may be dealt with in a minute or less. Some years ago when Stephen Hacking’s surprise bestseller A Brief History of Time  was selling in its millions, I asked sales  people on a publishing industry sales training course to pick a title to describe first pressure, then with a tight cut-off time. When we came to the succinct version, a representative from Bantam Press simply held up Hawking’s book and gave a four-word sales pitch: “It’s now in paperback”.

Sometimes circumstance make this easy, but even where they don’t, the principle stands. You must not risk wasting customer’s time. Working out truly succinct, yet powerful descriptions is certain aid to sales success.

In practice

  • It can be easy to spend longer with customers than they find ideal, because they might not tell you so.
  • So ask about timing. It will be regarded as a courtesy. Then you can to fit your pitch to their timescale and get their full attention throughout.

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