A key mistake sales reps make when sending an application or contract out, is failing to set up a Response Channel between them and merchants.
Because of this most sales reps will send an app or contract and then experience a waiting game that, at best lengthens sales cycles, and at worst, kills them completely.
Time Kills Deals!
What is the Response Channel?
The Response Channel is the time constraint of when a response is Expected from the merchant (to continue to train moving forward). It must be set up and communicated clearly by the Funding Pro.
Why is this important?
As Funding Pros one chief duty is to maximize time, fund as many deals, and generate as much revenue as possible.
Shorter Sales Cycles = More Funded Deals
The Arch Enemy of the shortened sales cycle is the merchant going dark on us.
You can sell a Yes, you can sell a No, but you can’t sell Silence. Not until the silence is broken by a response.
Not only do we want to shorten sales cycles, to fluidly complete the Sales Process with every deal, but we also want to prevent merchants from going dark on us.
This wastes a lot of time. A lot of time –> Wastes money. No Bueno.
How do we deal with this?
In the words of the great Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
To effectively set up the Response Channel, we must give the merchant a Time Target.
The Time Target Technique – There’s a fly in my urinal!!
In the early 1990’s, tired of the slovenly state of his bathrooms, Aad Kieboom introduced an etched image of a fly at the bottom of the bowl of every urinal in Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport.
Within the first year of making the change, there was an 80% decrease in spillage – which resulted in a 20% decrease in cleaning costs.
What was happening here?
These weirdos, while relieving themselves, started to aim their hardware straight at the flies.
Guess you give a man a fly to pee on, that man will pee on the fly.
Seen another way: give a man a target, he will feel an urge to hit it.
Pretty cool, right?
The truth is we all are those weirdos. When it comes to human behavior and psychology, we are all wired very similarly to do very similar things.
Imagine speeding your sales cycle between App Out (Stage 3) and App In (Stage 4) by 80%, or better yet between Contract Out (Stage 7) and Contract In (Stage 8) by 80%.
After sending the App/Contract out, the merchant must be followed up with immediately to make sure the document was received.
Once this has been confirmed, use the Time Target Technique and give them a specific time constraint you expect a response and a simple reason for it:
Ex. “Please see what you can do to send these back within the next 30 mins to process accordingly.”
Remember, you are a Funding Pro. Your time is limited, your scheduled is stacked, and you have an abundance of other clients to serve.
You are there for them, as their Trusted Advisor, to consult them through the process, but you can’t be jerked around at their beck and call – you simply have too much business for those games.
Tie it down with, “This work for you?”
The response to this will allow you to start fielding questions and concerns about the app/contract and timing you can start selling through to keep the ball moving forward.
And guess what? If the time target has been crossed and there’s no response. This gives you license to start your follow up cadence until the docs are in. Every time you reconnect with the merchant, set a new time target.
This allows us to keep the merchant tight to the hip and read them more effectively. If time targets continue to get blown off, it is time to get to the heart of what is truly preventing the merchant from following through.
Bottom line: merchants are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are typically Type A Strivers and Achievers – like us. You give us all a target, we will have an urge (whether conscious or unconscious) to hit that target.
Let’s use this psychological principle to our advantage, set up the Response Channel, set up Time Targets, and Lead our merchants more effectively to Funding.