“how many of you would value patience over persistence in sales”
That was the question I asked 27 high performing sales professionals in a room at a conference. More than 70% of them said persistence as it’s the only way to get things done.
The debate raged on as we wrestled with the understanding of value of patience and persistence…
I wanted to tackle this sometimes demonised word in sales which is patience. Often patience in business can be viewed as weak and a demonstration of your lack of hunger and drive.
That is far from the truth. In fact the renowned business and social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk promotes patience often. No one can deny how hard this man works.
“The bigger your ambition is, the more patience and work you need to deploy it” – Gary Vaynerchuk
What does he mean by patience and hard work? These two words can feel counter intuitive.
I wanted to start to present the case for all sales professionals, leaders, consultants and more of when it comes to success personally and for your customers why patient practice beats persistence pounding.
Let me start with what I mean by persistent pounding.
We've all heard the great traits used to describe successful sales people. One of them is persistence. Persistent sales professionals can be relentless and focused in their pursuit to get answers, to close deals, get through the door and you name it.
Persistent pounding is the sales professional who uses persistence as his/her greatest weapon to get results.
I'm not here to criticise persistence because it is a marked quality we all need in whatever walk of life. I will say that it shouldn't be the skill and trait we rely on to get results with our clients. In fact persistence is often just about the activity and not what activity you’re actually doing.
Instead I want to talk about something many of us in sales don't speak about. That's practising patience.
Patient practice is the ability to learn and do things well over time so you can yield more consistent results later.
This is such an underused consideration because of the sales world we live in. We've got to get results today or there is no commission tomorrow.
Most of us think that patience is the same as "waiting" or "doing nothing". And as a high achieving professional inactivity is your kryptonite. It's not only annoying, it can make you feel uneasy and agitated.
Patient patience is not about doing nothing. It's about knowing what is most important and carefully removing your emotional bias from your activity.
In fact Dan Waldschmidt extreme athelte, investor and entrerpreneur calls Patience
I ntangible and
Patient practice is a way of learning and doing that allows you to cultivate consistency with hard work that leads to greatness. This is about getting things done by practising the right activities and behaviours to see greater sales success.
Four small steps to applying patient practice.
Number one (diagnose the problem)
Look at the biggest challenge you have today when working and communicating with your customer. Write them down. Identify the one that if worked on would give you the biggest pay off. Example challenge: Getting key messages up to executives in your clients business
Number two (uncover the tools)
Once you know the challenge. Write out what specific skills, people and resources you might need to achieve this. Look around your organisation, network, LinkedIn and personal contacts, influencers in your field. Who might be strong in that area of skills you want or people who could support you. If you don’t have a specific person. There are many resources you can tap into. YouTube being one and use specific searches.
Example attributes needed to meet challenge
· Skills: Ability to influence, coach and deepen trust with client to support messages
· People: Senior leader from your business and client to be an internal sponsor
· Resources: insight tool to help better understand where key people are
Number three (start the practice)
Start with one skill and break down the skill into specific implementable tasks or actions you can do daily and measure at the end of the week. An example might be that you want to improve your ‘influencing skills’. By the end of the week you want to have had five conversations where you’re practising a specific influencing technique important to solving your challenge. Every day you set up calls, set a goal based on the outcome of that skill, practice the skill then evaluate if you achieved the intended result from the call.
Example activity for influencing: on next call use Cialdini’s consistency influencing approach to promote client commitments for moving forward.
Number four (repeat the activity)
Keep repeating each activity each week until it becomes a part of your daily routine then move on to the next skill that will move you to even greater success.
Bonus five (the compounding impact)
“The accomplishment of any goal is the progressive accumulation, or compound effect of small steps taken over time” – Darren Hardy (Author of bestselling book Compound Effect)
Professional success can happen quickly but those that win over the long term recognise to win they need to identify what success is. Apply the daily disciplines that move them closer to it. That’s exactly what patience practise is and what top performers in almost all disciplines do to achieve greatness.
Let me be real. This isn’t something that is easy to do. In fact patience is a lot harder than persistence because it forces you to slow down and consider not just what to do but what matters most.
- What are your thoughts on patient practice?
- Do you agree with the idea of persistence being too heavily relied on?
Connect with others like you wanting to take their client sales and relationships to the next level HERE
Jermaine Edwards – Your key customer growth guide