Just-In-Time…Or In Due Time?

In the Digital Age, old paradoxes have become new paradigms. The adoption of Digital Age tools and methods brought JIT to manufacturing in the 1980s, to marketing in the 1990s, and now it’s selling’s turn. If Mass-Customization is JIT production and 1:1 Marketing is JIT marketing…then the new model for selling in the Digital Age should be a JIT Selling approach. Simple enough! But what is JIT selling?

Let’s take another look at our consultative sales Gantt Chart to see how this might work. As the chart illustrates, a professional consultative sales approach that involves analysis requires three separate events and provides a best-case scenario of two meetings to reach a possible conclusion or sale. (Chart A).

pertsalesstepsa

(click on graphic to enlarge)

Events/Meetings Involved

Meeting #1. Prospects and salespeople meet so the salesperson can develop rapport and gather information.

Planning. Then prospect leaves and is made to ‘wait’ while the salesperson does analysis and prepares something to present.

Meeting #2. When they meet again, the salesperson demonstrates the proposed solutions they created while away from the prospect–hoping that the initial interview and analysis were enough to address all of the prospect’s concerns.

If everything goes according to plan, business is transacted. As we saw in the last chapter, any questions or changes that require new analysis send us back to the drawing board and the cycle starts over–introducing delays in the form of additional meetings and plans as illustrated in Chart B.

pertsalesstepsb

(click on graphic to enlarge)

So what should salespeople do in sales situations where analysis is required? Accept the inevitable delays, lost sales, and lousy customer experience that result…or find a better way?

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