We live in the “instant gratification” era.
It has been categorized by cold cereal, instant mashed potatoes, microwave popcorn, energy bars, anything microwaveable, watching movies at home “on demand”, email, texting, and the internet just to name a few. This generation suffers greatly when they have to wait for anything. Young people demand the lifestyle their parents enjoy, immediately upon leaving home. Instant gratification is also characterized by the size of credit card debt in the United States, which exceeds $1 trillion dollars. Average credit card debt per person is nearly $6,500. Buy now, pay later, seems to be the theme of this generation. There are a plethora of college degrees, which can be obtained over the Internet. Some of these degrees require no learning at all and a payment of just $240. For an additional $100 you can graduate Magna cum laude. This attitude of instant gratification has carried over into the world of employment, particularly selling.
The typical salesperson is not willing to prepare properly for a career in selling. They are looking for a career field that takes no preparation and will provide a large income. They are unwilling to educate and prepare themselves to properly enter the job market. Many of them want a salary that will guarantee a wage as opposed to a commission that guarantees they earn the money they receive. I have interviewed salespeople who have asked for a substantial salary up front and then said they would prove through their performance that they were worth the high salary. When I have countered with, “You perform first and then I will pay you the high salary”, they suddenly became less interested in the opportunity. The Chinese have a saying that refers to participating in sex before marriage, which translated means, “board the train first, and then buy your ticket.” Too often, the people of this instant gratification generation want all of the rewards and benefits without spending the time to prepare to earn them.
The typical salesperson will make just three attempts to complete a sale before they quit and move on. They lack the skills, patience, and the persistence to complete all the sales that they could be making. Statistically, we know it takes between five and seven contacts with a prospective buyer before they feel comfortable buying from you. Without the belief and trust that you can deliver on your promises, the prospect will typically not purchase. The majority of salespeople want the sale now. They have been programed for instant gratification. They are unwilling to spend the time to romance the sale through building trust. They walk away from the sale because they don’t exhibit the patience necessary to complete the selling process. I was talking to a business owner the other day that told me he was ready to make a purchase from a salesperson that had been calling on him. He was sold on the product from the time the salesperson first approached him. The business owner told me that even though he was ready to make the purchase, he wanted the salesperson to earn the sale. In order to earn the sale, he needed to spend the time necessary with the business owner. Once he felt the salesperson had spent enough time, the owner would give him the purchase order.
Selling is a process. Every salesperson needs to learn and understand the process necessary to sell their products and services. There are no shortcuts! Each step of the process must be followed. Be patient and don’t try to rush the process. If you push, you may lose the opportunity. If you are not persistent, you may walk away too soon, leaving an easy sale for your competition. Selling is the process of discovering the needs of your prospect and then systematically providing the solution to their needs. To even be given the opportunity to discover their needs, you must demonstrate that you care about them, and are willing to do all that is necessary to earn their business. You must earn the right to present your product or service to them by thoroughly understanding the depth and breadth of their needs. The privilege of selling to them comes from spending the time to develop a relationship of belief and trust. Every phase of the sales process requires time. There is no such thing as “instant gratification” in the selling process.