Overcoming bumps, detours, and sudden stops

One of the things I like best about the “process” is that all processes have one thing in common. They can be studied, analyzed, measured, modified, changed, improved, and streamlined.vintage-1892146_1280

In How to Close More Business in Less Time, I talk about how Hallmark Construction Company experienced resistance whenever the issue of pricing surfaced in their sales presentations. These hurdles or brick walls either slowed the sales process or brought it to a dead halt.

Let’s give those brick walls and hurdles a better name and call them “points of constraint.”

In 1984, Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt published a book entitled The Goal in which he presented his “Theory of Constraints.” Goldratt explained that a constraint is anything that prevents the system or process from achieving “more of its goal.”

Goldratt explains the best way to optimize the entire process is to identify the one or two or three most difficult or challenging constraints within the process and to solve, resolve, or fix those first.

One way I explain constraints is by using an hourglass as an example. That skinny point or narrow orifice is the constraint. If you somehow could double the size of the orifice, the sand would fall more freely and quickly to the bottom.

Or think about a traffic jam on a highway with three lanes feeding into one. Two lanes of traffic closed due to construction can cause an unintended parking lot that goes on for miles. That’s a point of constraint.

In a sales process, there are typically one or two or three points of constraint that keep the sales process from moving forward without interruption or, sometimes, stopping it entirely.

The way you fix it –– the way you consistently increase your closing ratio –– is to study, analyze, and measure your sales process. That’s helps you identify and eliminate those nasty points of constraint while you close more business in less time.

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