Everyone feels the constant push-pull in sales.
You want to make the big deal happen.
However, the buyer isn’t yours to control.
You want to push. You have to be patient.
You gotta be both.
Being pushy is not about asking for the order.
Buyers expect that from you. Though it has no value to them.
Being pushy is the ability to create forward momentum in a deal.
To be pushy is to identify opportunities to deliver needed value and win commitments to next steps in exchange.
The problem for many sellers is that forward progress in any complex sale is episodic.
Momentum ebbs and flows. It wanes in the time gaps between substantive interactions with your buyer.
Sellers grow impatient in the absence of movement.
Impatience encourages bad sales behaviors. Like lobbing time-wasting, valueless “check-in” calls and emails into the buyer…
This is why patience is the essential partner of pushy.
Being patient is the ability to correctly read a sales situation and resist taking actions that might make you feel better, but will do nothing to help the buyer move closer to making their purchase decision.
The temptation for most sellers is to push without momentum.
Because that’s what you’re trained to do. Or encouraged to do by your bosses and your sales training.
Since pushing without momentum works about as well pushing a wet noodle uphill, you need to learn some patience.
Yes, patience is a learned skill. It’s not a “set and forget” part of your personality.
Try this approach to make patience a habit: reframe how you think about the situation you’re in with a buyer in order to connect it to your larger story.
Psychologists call this cognitive reappraisal.
For instance, imagine you’re trying to land an anchor customer in an important new market segment.
Your frustration is Triggered by the buyer’s lack of response to your emails since your last call (which you thought went really really well.)
Your Emotional impulse is to hit up the buyer with a check-in call (or ten) that sound increasingly desperate. None of which would be well-received or have any value to the buyer.
Instead of acting on your frustration, pause and Acknowledge your larger story, which is the value this buyer will have as a reference account to help open the doors into many new customers in this new market segment.
Then Choose what to do. You could risk taking a rash action with unforeseen consequences. Or, you could stay patient until you have identified the next opportunity to deliver needed value and win the buyer’s commitment to next steps that move the deal forward.
Practice this and patience becomes a Habit. The Reward for your patience is a strategic win that leads to many more deals.
Repeat this process on every deal to make patience a Habit that pairs well with pushy. Like a great Cabernet with a prime filet.
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.