Value varies over time

Your product or service has value to the prospect to the extent that it solves a problem or pain that the prospect is currently experiencing. That pain will vary over time so the length of the sales cycle of your product’s perceived value will also vary. Here are two simple examples, one for a short sales cycle and one for a long sales cycle. If I am in my auto mechanics shop and he tells me he is having a special sale this week of half off on transmission repair, I will not care very much about that if my car has been running smoothly over the last few months. Since I am not in pain I will say something like “Thanks, Fred but I am good for now.” However, if a month later my car gets stuck in park and I need to have it towed to Fred’s shop to get the transmission fixed, his service has much more value to me and I won’t be worrying about the price he will charge. At the beginning of longer cycle projects, the prospect has certain issues and questions. Your expertise will have a certain value. But over the course of 18-month sales cycle the prospect becomes more knowledgeable, the economy will change, the industry might change, and the project requirements will change. Hence the pain at the end of the cycle will be different than it was at the beginning. The optimal salesperson will stay in touch with the changes in the pain over the length of the sales cycle. This is especially true at the end of the cycle when they may change rapidly.

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