When I was a kid, I sold (first) phonebooks and then fax machines. Either one would often take less than three minutes to sell once I was in front of a prospect. If they happened to need a fax machine, and something I had was within their price-range, I could sometimes have them in line at the check-out counter in less than a minute. I wasn't even that good - that's just the nature of retail sales. Now I'm selling software consulting services, and the sales cycle is a *lot* longer than three minutes, in fact it's closer to four months! I realize that if I'm going to be able to expand my business I need to cut this down. Here is the current process: Meet person (either through social media, networking events, referrals or cold-calling). I make a good impression and then call the next day to request an appointment, and often receive one. Then I make the pitch. Usually they want to "think it over." Then I don't hear from them for a week - when I follow-up they will request for something in writing to show their manager. No problem, I'll send them a proposal. But from here it drags on - typically a software manager will need managerial approval, approval from the CFO and sometimes legal review of the contract. While I understand that those things take time, there is a lot of waiting and follow-ups involved. Somewhat frustratingly, not everyone buys at this point and I haven't found a good way to distinguish the time-wasters from people who are genuinely likely to buy. Anyone think of a way to speed this up? I'd be *so* much ahead of my competition if I could find a way to expedite this, even by a factor of two. Thanks in advance!