5 Ideas on Playing the Long Game in Sales

  1. Living with the status quo. Too many of your dream clients can live with the status quo far longer than they should and longer than you might imagine. They perceive the cost of change as being greater than the cost of dealing with the major challenges. The ability to live with the status quo makes it difficult for you to develop dormant the satisfaction as fast as you would like to. Opportunity acquisition is the name of the game, and that game is difficult to play and difficult to win. It takes time.
  2. The need to nurture. One of the critical activities sales organizations and sales professionals need to spend time engaged in is nurturing their dream clients with content that helps their dream client to understand the nature of their challenges. When someone doesn’t yet have an understanding of their challenges or a vision as to how they can improve, they can stick with the status quo because they don’t know what is wrong, or they don’t know what is possible. Sometimes your dream client isn’t even using the right performance indicators. Nurturing is teaching.
  3. Executive sponsorship. For a long time, I have recommended that you get into your dream at whatever level possible, even if it far below the C-suite. But you also need to know that without executive sponsorship, you are far less likely to create or win an opportunity. Sometimes the only people with enough authority and a deep enough understanding of the difference between price and cost are at higher levels in your dream clients account company. Your value proposition may only be compelling by someone high enough in the organization to perceive the value.
  4. Consensus. The need to build consensus is critical, and you need to start that process as possible. The longer you wait to bring in the stakeholders you need, the more likely you are to end up with a stalled opportunity. You might fear that building consensus puts your opportunity in jeopardy because it is often difficult to accomplish, but that is not the greatest danger. The greater danger is that you don’t take the time to build that consensus and lose to a competitor who has–or more likely to a “no decision.”
  5. Fast is slow. Everyone wants new revenue fast. Everyone wants to acquire new clients as fast as possible. But in high complexity, long sales cycle deals, fast is slow, and slow is fast.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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