“Sales is not a sprint, it's a marathon.” Sure it's a cliché, but coming to the end of the winter slowdown, I was thinking it was pretty true.
I had a lot of prospective business, but none of it would close soon—if any of it closed for me at all. For example, there was the tract builder who was angry with his current supplier and was thinking about switching. Maybe I would get the business, or maybe he would just use my quote as leverage with the existing supplier he never intended to leave. We quoted some work for him with prices that were certainly good, but we didn't low-ball it. Why should we? If he was really unhappy with his current vendor, fair pricing should be only one criterion.
To help our chances, I wrote a cover letter for the quote. Writing a letter may not sound like a leg of a marathon, but it took me some time to decide what was most important to this prospect, then craft a concise explanation of our strengths in those areas.
The builder had told me he wouldn't be making a decision soon, so once I put the letter and the quote in the mail, I moved on to another new lead—a remodeler whose client was considering putting in a wet bar with cabinets from a line we represent. It was a full custom line, and therefore at the higher end of the price range.
I had quoted the job about two months ago and the client called me about twice a month. This is how the calls went:
“It just seems like a lot of money,” the client would say.
“It is a lot of money,” I would agree.
“Tell me again about the construction of the cabinets,” he would say.
And so I would.
“Tell me again about the quality of the finish.”