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Can You Sell Your Customers in Zero Seconds? Two experts say getting right to the point can help boost sales.

By Carol Tice Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In our short-attention-span age, many people are fed up with sales pitches that can't get to the point. Sales consultant Andy Paul's book Zero-Time Selling advocates reducing the time needed for sales and customer-service processes to zero (or as near to it as possible).

If that sounds crazy, think about how we buy online. We might see an ad and buy that product with one click. We don't want to hunt for anything, and we expect retailers to show us what we want and exactly how to buy it.

Anything slower than that, and we're frustrated. If your site takes a few seconds longer to load, we're leaving.

Related: The 'Fashion Star' Guide to Connecting the Dots for Customers

The big challenge is finding ways to sell quickly and effectively offline, too. In the book Relevant Selling, Jaynie Smith offers advice on how to do just that.

First, she says, make sure what you're selling is exactly what your customer wants. Doing so will close the deal faster. Smith debunks the idea that your points of difference are always a competitive advantage. Find out what your customers prize, and deliver that -- and you've made an instant sale.

Also, she says, don't get too creative with ads. You know the kind, where you can't figure out what the ad is for until the last five seconds of the commercial? Smith's research says customers aren't impressed. It's disrespectful of my time to make me wait a full minute to find out what you want to sell me.

You may not be able to get it down to zero, but any time you can shave off your sales process will help close more deals.

How do you speed up your sales cycle? Leave a comment and let us know.

Related: Seven Ways to Keep Angry Customers (Like Me) Happy

Carol Tice

Owner of Make a Living Writing

Longtime Seattle business writer Carol Tice has written for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Delta Sky and many more. She writes the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog. Her new ebook for Oberlo is Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

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