One of the techniques often discussed in selling is that of creating a sense of urgency in order to move a client from the thinking to the acting stage. As in … placing the order. I don’t much care for the term “creating” as it implies some sort of artificial emergency that is conjured up by the salesperson in order to close the sale.
The fact of the matter is that sometimes these emergencies are quite real and it is the responsibility of the salesperson to advise their clients of the necessary time frames that are needed in order to achieve project completion.
My background was in the electric sign industry and the benchmarks that needed to be met prior to the actual installation of the signage were many. We can work from the completion date and move backwards.
In most cases, new signage was needed prior to the store opening date. Of course, you can always open your store without signage or with some sort of temporary banner, but it’s not a good look. It might also cost you business. If you are merely upgrading your existing signage, you will still have a desired delivery date.
From the time of our first meeting …
- Allow 14 to 30 days for drawings and estimates
- Allow another 14 days for revisions
- Permits can run between 14 days and 90 days or more depending on the municipality and the type of permit(s) and approvals required
- Allow 45 to 120 days for manufacturing and installation dependent on the complexity of the project, materials needed, and our current workload.
Now add them up. I’ll do it for you. On the outside you are looking at over 8 months. What happens if you are doing a variance, it’s denied, and you have to file an appeal? How about potential supply chain issues? You get the picture.
I will say that, based on my experience, the average time frame for a fairly simple project with standard permits, from start to finish … 90 days. This does not count for unexpected surprises or anyone in the process who might be dragging their heels.
So, I would suggest that the sense of urgency is dictated by the customer’s needs and it is the salesperson’s responsibility to keep their customer apprised of these timelines in order to successfully meet their expectations.
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