I spend a fair amount of my time helping sales people make the most of their latest new product. There’s no doubt that technological advances such as the immediacy of and permanent connection to email is contributing towards making us intolerant of patience.
Where once it would be quite sufficient to inch gently forward in pursuit of progress, nowadays if movement does not appear within ten seconds flat, panic sets in.
I’ve frequently found myself counselling against such a mindset from taking hold. Examples I’ve used in the past relate to the best ways to wean children on to healthy foods and how the best retail shop assistants behave. This morning a wonderful new example struck me as I walked into a cafe close by.
Upon entrance, the giggle of young Eastern European girls that wait the tables said ‘hello’, then one simply spoke to me with the words of my most regular order there. With a smile, I said that’d be ‘great’, and promptly sat down.
It occured to me that since their recent lick of paint, I’ve used the place a couple of times a week at unusual times. After dabbling with a variety of drink/snack combos, I have indeed settled on a particular order. I’m now welcomed as a ‘regular’, with the extra smile and chat that entails.
I consequently feel most comfortable in there now. Yet here’s the rub for sales people. This didn’t happen overnight. Vendor and Client took a while to reach this state. As many as half-a-dozen times of repeating a similar experience.
Persuading someone to take a punt on your new wares will never happen overnight, so prepared for the whole journey, not simply taking the first step.