Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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24 • November 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS Closing the Sale Faster Tips for effectively speeding up the process Scott Franko is the president of Franko Design Concepts and Consulting, He for- merly owned and operated a multi-division sign, graphics and custom fabrication busi- ness. You can locate and contact him online at B Y S C O T T F R A N K O Building Your Impressions the right attributes, efforts, tools and skills. Allow me to share them in no particular order. Response Time—People like being responded to. Fast. Calls on the same day. Emails by the next day. Texts within the hour. If you have an Info@ or Sale@ email address, be sure you monitor and reply when requests are made. Communication—Do it, a lot. With details. But not too many. There's a happy balance in what to say and how often. Be sure to include all the participants or stakeholders. If something is being communicated, ask yourself who else would benefit by know- ing this. Often it is the customer who's left out, or one of your peers in another department. Mondays and Fridays are times to "check in" and communicate with all your project contacts. Calendar—It amazes me how many people don't use these con- sistently to stay organized in today's busy world. The calendar keeps you on task. If you're not using these daily, multiple times a day, you're not organized. And your sales will suffer. Take Notes—I take lots of notes. I keep a note pad by my phone to document calls and conversations. I take notes between all my to dos and activities. Notes help to not forget important details. Design — Design sells. If a customer wants a bland graphic in a basic box, do one unique thing to that graphic or box that gives it the pop it needs to stand out over the competition's design. Details—Show dimensions, perspective, and explain materi- als. Know what's behind the wall, overhead or on the ground. In other words, know and provide answers before questions come up. Next Step—Think in terms of a next step. What next step can you take now to move a sale closer to a close? What next step can you present to the client that moves them closer to a decision? Do this for every project you are working on, daily. Don't Ask for the Close—I never ask. I just keep giving and taking those next steps in order to move a proposed project toward a close. Get buy-in along the way with each step, then just close without asking. No Big Decisions—Don't make the customer make big deci- A business travels through the marketplace at the rate of its sales. And nothing much happens until a sale is made. If you want your business to grow faster, you have to speed up your sales. If you have salespeople in your organization, or if you are in sales, you have a direct effect on that speed. When it comes to signs, graphics, and visual display, a num- ber of factors often make it difficult to close deals and convert concepts into projects in a timely manner. Some of those factors are beyond the control of the salesperson, like design, estimates, and permits if required. I look at those factors as necessary hurdles that with practice and skill your company can figure out how to get over them faster and faster. At the individual level, where sales meets pavement and salespeople meet customers, there are even more factors and hurdles. In my 25-plus years in business and sales, I discov- ered how to get over these hurdles and close more sales while speeding up the time involved with closing them by applying

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