The prospect feels heard, listened to, assured. These are the qualities that exercising patience when selling yields. And they dramatically increase customer retention.

Patience. (Pause and digest that first). Patience isn’t just a virtue. Patience is a sales virtue. Exercise patience when selling. Many sales are lost because the potential buyer (prospect) felt rushed and declined to buy, or acquiesced to the sale, only to cancel it a few months in. Either way, not good news.

Why patience is important in selling

Purchase represents change. And change is uncomfortable. It takes us into the unfamiliar. And our default setting is to stick to the shore much as we see the untold opportunities of leaving it to venture to oceans unknown.

The problem with many sellers is they don’t see this ‘risk’. Because they already understand the product, in their mind they are already cruising the high seas and see the hesitant buyer as just being risk averse. And so, seeing no risk in the high seas, they figure ‘pushing’ the buyer out to sea is the solution. So failing to exercise patience when selling, they rush to close the sale. ‘Sign here’ they say; or, ignoring the camouflaged (as questions and objections) cries by the buyer, cries of ‘Please, walk me through this, don’t rush me’, they fail to realize they are on their own.  And then wonder why the prospect balked. Some even go ahead to label him, ‘slow’!

exercise patience when selling

The important role patience plays when selling

When you exercise patience in selling you actively listen. With your ears, and your eyes. You just don’t hear, but listen to the words and how they are said. Is there uncertainty, confidence, fear? What about the body language? Do I see or feel confidence? The importance of patience when selling is even more pronounced for long term purchase decisions.


 “What kind of house are you looking for?” the seller asks. “I’m not sure but I’ll know it when I see it?” An impatient seller is already frustrated at this point and it shows in his continued presentation as disinterest or hastiness. On the other hand, the patient seller says, “We have three projects. Let me take you around each of them and we see if any may interest you. Is this ok?” It’s an invitation, not coercion. It’s unlikely to receive a no. After the first viewing, the prospect declines, citing the CBD and access to public transport as being too far.

Now the patient seller has learnt two things she didn’t know earlier. After property two, buyer declines citing house is small or is expensive. Aha! That’s the third thing she’s learnt. You catch my drift. By the time they get to the third or fourth or fifth, the seller and buyer are aligned in terms of product specs and, more importantly, the prospect feels heard, listened to, assured. These are the qualities that exercising patience when selling yields. And these qualities also dramatically increase the chances of customer retention.

Exercise patience when selling and closing

Patience and persistence are the way to sell. And no, persistence does not mean hammering away hurriedly. it means getting yourself attuned to the buyer’s frequency. Sufficiently enough to move him from where he is, to where, you learn, he wants to be.

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