“If you had read the invitation properly, you…” or “if you were listening to what I was saying, you…” and embarrassing the buyer by insisting you were right, are all signs of impatience. You may win the battle but you will lose the war
Patience pays. Successful businessmen and salespeople know this. Mediocre salespeople are forever pressing the pressure button still believing that closing should happen ‘yesterday’.
Patience is the reason why, when asked about something they had covered in their presentation, progressive sellers will never say, “if you were listening to what I was saying, you…” Instead they will happily repeat what they had said as if they hadn’t said it. And why? Because they know human beings are not torches, focusing only where they are shone. They will mentally drift. In fact, experts say that at any one time during a presentation (even a sermon) one person in three are not listening to what you are saying. Even the buyer’s ‘seeing’ is not always thorough either. Last year I was invited to an event via WhatsApp. I could have sworn I’d fully understood the contents of the creatively designed poster. And so, when I asked how to pay ahead of time, it was because I was sure that information was missing. The salesperson I asked showed me how to pay online. Later, when forwarding the invitation to another person, I was pleasantly surprised to find the information I’d asked for had been staring at me all along! Yet no mention was made of, “if you had read the invitation properly, you…”
Impatience is the reason why we become defensive and dismissive. “Looking at my statement, I see that I’ve been charged for incoming transfers and yet you’ve not been doing so,” I shared with the bank rep. Instinctively, she defensively responded, “We don’t charge for incoming credits”; something that must have been drilled in during their in-house training as a point of difference from other banks; only, she had used it at the wrong time. When she comes out defensively, what I hear is that I don’t know what I’m saying, I’m foolish. Compare this to, “That’s unusual. Let’s have a look at your account and see what the problem could be…” In the process of studying the statement, if it turns out that indeed, it was my folly that misled me, this will come to light and the progressive seller will still be patient enough to cover my embarrassment with, “Sorry we had not been clear enough in our explanation.” Like the case of the guest who came to the hotel reception bellowing, “my AC is not working and my room has remained hot since yesterday.” “Could we look at it and get back to you?” The check revealed that the guest had not plugged in the power cable. He had just turned on the knob and not hearing the AC rumbling, had declared it ‘not working’. Knowing the importance of patience, the receptionist calls the guest to inform him that the problem has been resolved, apologies for the inconvenience caused, and would you like us to turn it on that you may find the room cool?” No attempt to embarrass him with, “you had not connected the power”
It is because they are patient that progressive salespeople never assume that you know. The other day while looking for a laptop to buy, I finally understood what VGA and HDMI mean. The salesperson held up the VGA for me and pointed out where the HDMI is. Patience educates; impatience tells. Patience shows; impatience assumes. Patience empathizes; impatience belittles. To succeed, corporate bank relationship managers must be patient enough for their client to open up about the intricacies of his business; in fact, successful businessmen will drag out the relationship until they feel you are in it for the long haul.
As a patient with a hacking cough, you expect the doctor to examine your throat ahead of diagnosing. You’d feel shortchanged and never refer anyone if he didn’t; keep in mind you have no idea what he’s checking for nor what the interpretation means-you are just assured that he was patient enough to do what you expected. And that’s the essence of patience: patience creates assurance and assurance creates confidence and confidence creates trust and trust is the climax of all lasting relationships and pays through referrals and repeat purchases.
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