Effective selling is about farming rather than hunting.”

Are you the type of person who wants it now? Or have you mastered the art of delayed gratification?

Did you know that many salespeople get frustrated after just an hour of prospecting by phone, email, social media, or face to face if they don’t see instant results? Do you expect to hear a ‘yes’ right then and there? Or have you mastered the art of delayed gratification, planting your seeds, creating daily habits and nurturing relationships?

In the 70s, Dr. Walter Mischel, a Stanford psychology researcher conducted a study that is often referred to as the marshmallow study. He put a bunch of four-year old children in a room together and gave them a marshmallow. They were promised another one if they didn’t eat it for 25 minutes. What would you have done? Some children grabbed the marshmallow quickly, and some others waited patiently. Now, these kids were followed for 14 years and those who waited patiently scored 210 points higher on their SATs, were more socially competent and overall experienced more professional success than their marshmallow grabbing peers.

So, what does this study have to do with selling? Delayed gratification also applies to how we pursue a prospect. Salespeople scoring low in delayed gratification do get agitated easily. Many do give up quickly after a few hours of prospecting, through the phone, face to face, social media or email if they don’t see instant results.

Research from the national sales executive association has demonstrated that most salespeople quit pursuing an opportunity after 4 attempts, although the same research proves that most sales are closed after 5 to 12 outreaches.

Some ways to learn the art of delayed gratification

Put things into perspective — Remember you reap what you sow. Effective selling is about farming rather than hunting. Create daily habits and connections that will bring long-term rewards. Don’t chase instant gratification. What you plant today, will flourish tomorrow.

Focus on building relationships — Remember when you focus on building long-term relationships, being able to delay gratification will come more naturally. Think about every contact that you make either through email, social media, cold calling or face to face is an opportunity for long-term connection, networking and referral opportunities.

Have a plan and strategy — Salespeople who haven’t planned their strategy will often get frustrated very easily. Because many may have a full diary of meetings and are making all the calls in the world, yet they are still struggling to get good leads and close more deals. It’s because they haven’t taken the time to plan. They just rushed in and got very busy.

Consider the following questions

Do usually just get a random list of prospects and call them up without even doing research or understanding who they are?

Do you add hundreds of people on LinkedIn without checking them out first thinking the more numbers you have the better?

Have you posted content consistently on social media, and eventually gave up because you didn’t see the results you were after?

Are you focused more on how many meetings you have vs the quality of meetings?

So, you need to start asking yourself these questions

1. What habits am I making today?

2. What seeds am I planting today?

3. What connections am I building today?.

Stay consistent and patient in your prospecting, build strong relationships, follow up and trust me you will reap the rewards.

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Author’s Bio:

As a sales trainer, Rana Kordahi is determined to make everyone fall in love with selling. She wants to make the word ‘sales’ sound hip, rather than slimy.

Being a Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner and mindset coach, she combines NLP, mindset, EQ and psychology to sales training to take people beyond their sales potential. She’s the founder of Limitlessminds Training and Coaching which specializes in corporate sales and sales leadership training.

Connect with Rana on LinkedIn
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