Why Patience is Required in Sales and Sales Leaders Need to Stop Pushing

I get it. You need the sale. But pushing it, not having patience, in the long run, isn’t the way to sell.

I’m a big bump/mogul skier. I love it. There is no better feeling than ripping a zipperline down a mogul field. It’s awesome AND hard. I’ve been skiing moguls for years, and getting good has been a life long journey. It takes practice, practice and more practice. You have to be quick on your feet. You have to have excellent flexion and extension and you have to be patient – yes patient.

The patient piece has been the hardest for me. You see, when skiing bumps, you’re going fast and they moguls are coming at you one after the other. It feels like and looks like you have to turn really quickly, but the irony is, not as quickly as you think. One of the keys to skiing moguls is NOT to initiate your turn too early. If you do, you aren’t positioned correctly for the next mogul and it will put you in the back seat as you’r not correctly situated over the mogul. (You don’t want to be in the backseat going 25 – 30 miles an hour in the moguls!) You have to wait for the mogul to come to you and turn just as your about to come down the back side. It’s not very intuitive.

Sales is very similar. I see it all the time. We want the sale to progress faster than it is coming to us. We don’t wait for it to come to us, we force it and just like mogul skiing this doesn’t position us well for the next step. When we force the sale, we miss things. We don’t get all the stakeholders involved. The value proposition isn’t delivered correctly. Buy in isn’t created. Detractors aren’t identified. Pricing concerns are missed, etc. When we aren’t patient with allowing sales to develop, it costs us. We aren’t positioned well. Yes, sometimes we still close the sales, but it’s never pretty.

We need to be patient.

Being patient, doesn’t mean you can’t go faster. It just means you have to allow the sale to come to you. In bump skiing, being patient doesn’t mean going slow. You can go as fast as you can turn, but you still have to wait for the mogul to come to you. Turning too early doesn’t make you go faster, it just puts you in the wrong position.

The same thing happens in sales, asking for the sale too soon, trying to demo before it’s time, trying to get to the C-level too early, moving to the next stage without buy in are all like turning too soon. You think it’s going to help you, but it’s not. You have to be patient.

Sales leaders, don’t push your people to turn too early. The best mogul coach I ever had kept saying to me, patience Jim, patience. Your forcing it. The mogul is gonna come, it’s just your job to be ready when it does. It’s no different in sales.

Stop trying to force the sale, the goal is to be ready when it comes.