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Timing is Key to Winning New Business

Timing is Key to Winning New Business

As many of you know, I take an active interest in all things sales and marketing, especially sales opportunities.

This week, I had two completely different sales experiences that I wanted to share with you so that you too could see how the sheer lack of timing can cost you business!


Hairdresser Required

I wanted to find a local hairdresser and beautician, as my previous one has moved away, so I was active in the market for a new supplier. On my way home from an early morning networking event, I decided to pop into some hairdressers in my local area, before getting back to helping people with their data requirements.

I pulled up at the first hairdressers/beautician to get some more information. I entered and asked for details regarding the types of beauty treatments and also about my hair. You see, having long hair can affect the prices dramatically, so I wanted to check that they were giving me the correct quote.

So there I was, standing in front of them, explaining the style I wanted, asking about open times and how much do they charge….. I even asked how I could book ….. you know THE BIGGEST BUYING SIGNAL GOING! I was told that “In order to book, all you have to do is give us a ring!” even though I was standing right in front of them!!! Not once was I asked,”shall we make an appointment for you now”. So I left the salon armed with the info but with no sale closed.

Are Salons Scared of Winning New Business?

Now, maybe there’s a thing with salons, because the next two followed the exact same routine. So I now have on my desk the details of three salons that have provided me with their information, given me their marketing leaflet but not one of them have a sale, all because they didn’t ask the question “shall we book you in now?” Wow, what a missed opportunity!

By the way, it wasn’t until the 4th salon I went into that the lady said “Can I book an appointment for you now?” I said YES… straight away and made an appointment there and then! They now have the potential regular income from my repeat business, including hair treatments and beauty treatments and massages that both my husband and I enjoy.


So whatever you do, don’t be scared to close your sales there and then as you’ll miss the boat – especially when the buying signals are so clear!

The Phone’s On The Blink!

Anyway, having returned to the office, I then noticed that we had a problem with our telephone line. I contacted the telephone company and reported the fault, went through the normal procedures of switching on / off (control alt delete) and was finally told that there may be a problem on the line and that they would now have to report the fault to the relevant department. This, I was informed, may take up to 48 hours.

Given that this was my main business line, as you can imagine I wasn’t best pleased. However….. notwithstanding my clear annoyance, to my dismay, the person then went on to attempt to upsell other products the company was offering i.e. broadband.

Despite really wanting to impart a piece of my mind, I exercised extreme restraint and simply said “no thank you”. Regardless, he continued to press for a sale, explaining the benefits of having other services delivered via my “faulty” telephone line and having all the payment details on one invoice.

At this point, I became firm with my NO THANK YOU comment … This left me thinking that the company was desperate for sales and that these guys had totally got their timings wrong!


Surely the best time to upsell is when you have the matter fully resolved and you are calling the customer to confirm that everything is now back to normal.

So the moral of both of these tales is that timing is key to winning new business – You can be too laid back and not ask for the order like the salons, or push way too much at an inappropriate time. Either way, you’ve lost any chance of securing a sale!!


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