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Cut to the Chase

Sales cycle dragging? These 6 tips will make it shorter--and sweeter.

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This story appears in the May 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When you're going after a new account, it's imperative that you use your time wisely so you can shorten the sales cycle. Here are six ways to do just that.

1. Qualify, qualify, qualify. Whether you're calling to the top of an organization or going straight to the person responsible for making the decision, you should always check to see if others are involved and include them in your meetings and presentations. To qualify the decision-maker, simply ask, "Is there anyone besides yourself who is involved in this decision and who I should be speaking with?" If they say yes, ask, "What role does this person play?" Using the words "besides yourself" ensures you don't alienate the person you're speaking to.

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