So there I am. It’s early in the morning and I am having my first cup of coffee. I am using my time to go through social media accounts to check for people that I need to respond to, or to connect with. I go through and comment on a few posts and congratulate connections on birthdays or work accomplishments.
My mouse hovers to Linkedin and I check to see if there are notifications there. I love Linkedin and I enjoy the engagement there. In addition, I do want to grow my network there! So when I notice there are notifications in the “My Network” tab I quickly go to check them out. Who might be reaching out to connect? If I know them, the decision is simple. Click a button and expand my network. Done.
But what if I don’t know them? Do I so quickly connect? Wait…let me see what other mutual connections we have. Hmmm…just a few. Do I accept? Do I move on? What am I afraid of? The goal is to grow my network, right? We never know what person might be THE person that helps to grow my business!
So I click “Accept.”
Then…ding! A message instantly comes through Linkedin! Damnit. THAT was what I was afraid of! The instant sales message. I don’t even have to look to know it. This is the person who assumes that since you have accepted their connection, it’s time to put on the full court press. It doesn’t matter that they don’t know if you need it. It doesn’t matter that they don’t know what other solutions you have. They have a quota and a goal and they are coming for you!
This, my friends, is the problem with a short term sales vision.
It’s the reason why it matters that you have a “long term” focus in sales. As I say all of the time “I am looking for 20 year customers.” When you are in sales, it’s hard to focus on the long term. The fact is, you need to sell something in order to make ends meet. That’s not only your goal, it’s your mission. I have been there. But having made some of those short term mistakes, I want to challenge you to think bigger.
Here are a few reasons that focusing on long term success helps you in sales and entrepreneurship.
You Look Less Desperate: What short term salespeople don’t understand is, they will sell less for less money. As consumers, we can smell it. We know when someone is just pushing for the short term sale. They don’t take the time to develop a relationship. They don’t take the time to really explain. They are too busy trying to sell me now. Oh, and if you are in that big a hurry, usually the only thing you have to sell is price. As Seth Godin says, that’s a race to bottom…and that’s a race you don’t want to win.
You Have Time to Push Out Good: People who are focused on long term success understand that a good marketplace leads to good sales. If your customers and community are doing well, you will do well. So it allows you to take the time to help. It will come back.
You Get To Say No: When you are not focused ONLY on this next sale, you get to decide if the prospect or customer can help you create a long term business. When the service or product or values don’t line up, you can politely move on. There is a true power in that.
The reality is, focusing on long term success is how you build relationships and a business that lasts. It’s harder. Sometimes it takes longer. But what are you trying to create? It’s up to you to decide.
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