On December 21st I received an email from the Director of Long-Term Care for three long-term care homes in a County, located in southern Ontario. The individual stated that she had heard of StaffStat in the past at a conference that we had attended and that she was interested in learning more about how the system could help cut down the number of calls that her schedulers and RNs were making to her 450+ staff.
This was the first time that I was reached out to personally, and it was also the biggest group that I’d come into contact with who actually wanted to learn more about what it was that I had to offer. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. I connected with her right away and scheduled a call for the very next week. During that call we discussed the functionality of the system and how it could work for her homes, the implementation process, pricing and the possibility of setting up a free trial. After a few months of communicating back and forth, I finally had a signed Free Trial Agreement in my hands on March 21, 2017.
Yes. It took me three whole months to finally get confirmation that the three homes would be moving forward with a 14-day free trial of the system.
Just ten days ago, on May 7th, their free trial ended. I spoke with the Director of Long-Term Care on that same day and received verbal confirmation that they would be moving forward with an annual, pre-paid contract to continue using StaffStat in-house.
That’s right. It took me 137 days to close the sale – just under six whole months.
I feel like I’ve said this a million times before, but working in sales is really freakin’ hard. It’s hard to pick up a phone and call someone that you’ve never spoken to before. It’s hard to draft up an email that you’re hoping will not only entice the recipient to open the email and read it, but also peek their curiosity enough for them to connect back with you. It’s hard to keep motivated after being turned down over and over and over. But you want to know what the hardest thing has been for me since starting on my ‘sales journey’? It’s being persistent, while also being patient, and never giving up.
There were so many times throughout the process where I would look at Mandy or Mel and say, “What am I supposed to say to them today?” or, “I just left a voicemail on Monday… should I call again?” I’d leave countless voicemails and send emails each week to receive responses like, “I haven’t had time to review your last email. We’ll touch base soon” or, “We have a meeting in two weeks and we’ll be discussing your software then”. Although I was happy to know that I was still on their radar, it was sometimes hard to keep my head up when I’d feel like I was being brushed off or avoided. But I kept pushing! I never stopped calling and I never stopped emailing. I wanted to make sure that they knew that I was still there, waiting patiently (sort of) for the day when they would finally say, “Okay, let’s do this!”
Especially when dealing with technology, the sales cycle is long and painful and it can often be really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are days when I feel like I’m right on track and others where I feel like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. The day that I heard the words, “We’ll be moving forward with the annual pre-pay option for all three homes”, was the day that I was reminded of why I do what I do. It was exactly what I needed to hear to regain my focus, continue moving forward, not get discouraged, and remember that although it isn’t always going to be easy, it’s the rewarding feeling in the end that makes the wait and the work totally worth it!