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Patience & Urgency in a Sales Process Yields More Sales

How patient should you be in a sales process? I’d say as patient as you need to be as long as the process is continuing. Am I saying you should just let the buyer lead the sales process? No. At the same time that you’re being patient, you also need to be urgent. It’s what I call the delicate balance of patience and urgency.

It’s really a simple concept.

  • Be most urgent with what you can control
  • Be patient with what’s out of your control
  • Practice a blend of patient-urgency with what you influence

That’s the concept, practicing it is easy for some and more difficult for others.

“Your circumstances don’t make it easy or hard to be patient, the degree of patience you exercise is what makes your circumstances easier or harder to work with.”

So what’s the benefit? More sales of course, but let’s look at what falls into these categories first, then understand where the sales come from.

With What You Control
Be Urgent
With Whats Out of Your Control Be Patient What You Influence Practice Patient-Urgency
  • Preparation
  • Keeping promises
  • Sales activity
  • Addressing any conflict
  • Leading the sales process
  • Exercising influence with other buyers
  • Managing expectations
  • Education
  • Developing skills
  • Product knowledge
  • Promptness of  your responses
  • More…
  • The response time of others
  • Broken promises by others
  • Delays
  • “Bad luck” circumstances that arise
  • Changes in buyers
  • Buying decisions
  • If others perceive value in your product or service
  • How others feel
  • Other peoples opinions
  • More…..
  • How a customer views their problem
  • Referrals and Networking leads
  • The customers trust level with you
  • The level of understanding a prospect/broker has regarding a recommended solution
  • A buyer’s motivation level to purchase
  • The buying process
  • The buying decision
  • More……

In general, impatience is a good quality with direct sales people.  Who wants a sales team sitting around waiting for the phone to ring? No one. So let the salesperson exercise “urgency” in what they can control. Problems with impatience arise when a salesperson tries to push a buyer into urgency when they’re not ready. When this happens too often, or with the wrong buyer, the trust level goes down and defenses go up.  Sales are lost. The buyer’s decisions are out of a salespersons control, so patience should be applied.

When sales people stay urgent on what they control they will focus on their High Payoff Sales Activity This will drive more opportunities in their pipeline making it easier to be patient with delays in the sales process. When urgency is applied to every promise made, action item to be completed, and knowledge displayed by the salesperson, trust is built with the buyer. This will increase the chances of winning the business.

The bottom line is this: Staying urgent with what you control in the sales process will lead to more opportunities. Being patient with what is out of your control will build trust and keep communication lines open and the two together will help you close more business.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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