A pragmatic sales director I once worked with would often reply to a new client win with,
“Let’s not forget, a sale is not a sale until the bill’s been paid.”
The salesperson’s ego would deflate a bit; the accounts person would cheer.
And, of course, being a small business, he was right. You can’t pay the bills with new orders.
Most business transactions – products or services – are relatively complex: You can’t just buy them online. This introduces a sales process, usually with a number of hurdles and potential roadblocks.
In my mind, you actually make the sale during the process – especially if things go off the rails and you pull them back.
If you want to attract more of the same type of sale to grow your client base, the key is to start thinking backwards. How do you get it over the line?
As buyers change their habits of research (before they even make contact), specifics such as Google placements, website visitors, and social media shares are becoming more random. Plus, it’s a distraction away from the customer experience.
That’s why successful companies thrive on referrals, with a satisfied customer who becomes an unpaid salesperson.
And, obviously, that sale won’t become a sale until the bill’s been paid.