Okay, I’m going to rip the band-aid off. Here’s the bad news: If you’ve got a sales problem now, you likely missed the warning signals 6 months ago.
Yet, the point I’m about to make isn’t about how to hustle to get things back in order. No, quite the opposite.
You see, in a world driven by instant gratification, where we all expect results at the snap of our fingers, it's crucial to remember that some things cannot and should not be rushed.
Sales is one domain where patience is not just a virtue but a necessity.
After all, slow and steady wins the race, right?
If you're still not convinced that sales is a game of patience, dive into the intricate world of slow-selling and explore why it's a process that you can't rush below:
What we can learn: The Hare and The Tortoise
If you cast your mind back to the story, the hare, known for its speed, initially underestimates the slow-moving tortoise in a race and ends up losing.
You might remember that the hare then becomes overconfident and takes a nap during the race while the tortoise continues to plod along at a steady pace.
In the end, the tortoise wins the race because it remains focused and persistent, unlike the hare whose haste leads to complacency and, ultimately, failure.
In a world of hares, be a tortoise.
So in the context of sales, the story serves as a reminder that trying to rush the process, like the hare, can lead to mistakes, missed opportunities, and burnout.
Sales success often comes from consistent effort, nurturing client relationships over time, and maintaining a steady pace.
Just as the tortoise prevailed in the race, a patient and diligent approach to sales can lead to long-term success and sustainable growth.
Still (or possibly even more) confused? Let’s break this down further without the hare and tortoise for a moment:
There’s no magic wand
The notion of slow-selling isn't about dwelling on the slowness itself; it's about acknowledging that there's no magic wand to fix a struggling sales engine.
If you find yourself facing a sales problem today, the reality is that you should have actually started addressing it six months ago.
That's the unvarnished truth. Sales is akin to a slow-burning fire; it takes time to build up the necessary heat.
Nurturing the slow, patient burn
Moving on, sales, from a strategic standpoint, is not a one-time endeavour; it's an ongoing process that requires consistent nudging and value-building to build and nurture lasting client relationships.
So to be successful, you need the right strategy, but even then, you must iterate on it continually.
“Trying to rush the process, like the hare, can lead to mistakes, missed opportunities, and burnout.”
While the business landscape evolves, with macro market factors shaping the terrain. To thrive as a company, you must constantly adapt and fine-tune your approach to be successful.
The key is to discover what works and diligently seek your market fit. This journey of discovery takes time and effort, but it's an essential part of sustainable sales success.
Existing Clients: The Fuel for the Fire
If you're in dire need of immediate revenue for your business, the quickest source is often your existing clients.
These are the relationships you've been nurturing over time, and they can provide a lifeline in challenging moments.
While there might be some clever techniques to expedite deals in your pipeline, the primary source of quick revenue is your current client base.
Accelerating the pipeline in a pinch
While patience is paramount in sales, there are some strategies you can use in a pinch to accelerate the pipeline. Some of my favourites include:
One such approach is the use of gateway products. These products can expedite revenue opportunities by providing smaller, easier-to-close deals.
Going after the big-ticket items all the time may slow down your sales cycle, but strategically introducing gateway products can keep the revenue flowing steadily.
Scale Behind You
To address the issue of a sluggish sales pipeline, consider the power of scale.
By expanding the upper portion of your pipeline, you can swiftly introduce more opportunities. This method can accelerate revenue generation when coupled with a strategic gateway approach.
Increasing the scale at the cold end of your funnel can significantly expedite progress in the sales game.
After all, sales is all about numbers; the wider your reach, the swifter the flow of opportunities and revenue.
Embracing the "Don't Sell" philosophy
Ultimately, you should think of sales as an undeniably slow process; attempting to rush it can have detrimental effects.
Slowing down your sales process is about creating a well-thought-out strategy, adapting to market dynamics, and nurturing relationships with existing clients.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Ultimately, the ideal formula for success in sales looks a little like this:
Patience + Nurturing Approach = Sales Sustainability
While there are methods to accelerate the pipeline, the ultimate goal should be sustainable growth, not quick fixes. Sales, when approached with patience and care, can yield results that stand the test of time.
In the quest for speedy sales, some companies fall into the trap of constantly pushing their products or services. However, this aggressive approach often backfires.
It can flood your pipeline with distressed deals that may never close or may not be a good fit for your business.
Instead, the key to successful sales is a patient and nurturing attitude. Treat each client relationship as a delicate dance, one where you're attuned to their needs and responsive to their rhythms.
By doing so, you’ll build trust and ensure long-term success without having to rush around like a hare.