#1 Skill Needed to Turn Prospects into Clients

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#1 Skill Needed to Turn Prospects Into Clients

Want to turn more prospects into clients? There are many different emotional intelligence skills that can help you improve your sales results.

One of the biggest is what’s called “delayed gratification.”

Delayed gratification means that you’re willing to lay the foundation with the client before you close the sale. It means practicing patience and waiting as long as it takes to make the sale. Sometimes it can take a while. Sometimes it seems like it can take forever…

I have a brother in high tech sales and he has had to cultivate relationships for months, sometimes longer than that, before anything happens. Often, it can be that there are multiple players involved in making the decision. Sometimes, it’s just that the outlay is so high, the people involved need to weigh the cost against the benefits.

This can be true even for folks who aren’t spending hundreds of thousands or even millions on a product/service. People need time to see if the issue is pervasive and to weigh their options. With the advent of the internet, even more options are available to all of us. It may not be that there are so many more options, it could just be that now we are exposed to them.

So learning to cultivate “self-restraint” is important. Those with high emotional intelligence have a lot of self-restraint of which delayed gratification is a part.

As you may know, EI teaches you to recognize and control your emotional states. In sales, there’s a feeling of urgency that makes you want to close the sale now. This feeling tells you that it’s now or never, and there may be an intense pressure to close the sale no matter what the cost.

Using the EI muscle of self-restraint quiets that urge so that you can communicate with the prospect calmly, even in the heat of the moment, and handle the situation in a way that’s both appropriate and effective.

You know in your heart that aiming for the long term is truly your ultimate goal, that closing the sale now when the buyer may have remorse, is not the best strategy. You understand that the instant gratification of closing the sale is impulsive and can be damaging to your relationship.  But when you’re actually in the thick of a sale, it’s sometimes very difficult to rely on reason.

It may become evident by now that delayed gratification is a skill every salesperson should master. If you’re calling, emailing and meeting with prospects and not getting the instant results you want, you may want to give up. Don’t! Stay the course. It’s what the most successful sales people do. They stick with it until it does work out. Even if it’s not with the prospect you have been working on.

Keep this in mind when you are networking as well. When meeting a new business contact, you may want to follow-up with them with an offer immediately. However, it’s better to wait until you get to know them better and can offer them something that truly fits their needs rather than trying to sell them something hastily put together.

For you entrepreneurs, content marketing, which is a highly effective method of online marketing, is founded on the idea of delayed gratification. You offer free content to your prospect over a period of time and eventually start making offers. The client begins to trust your expertise and knowledge and, therefore, is willing to give your paid products a try.

Remember, developing high emotional intelligence allows you to map out a strategy and look to the long-term. People with high EI are patient, motivated and focused on the future. They tend to be good at time management and they know that the sale will happen eventually.

Delayed gratification is summed up in the old saying – “The race is not to the swiftest, it’s to those who keep on running.”

So, how can you improve in this area?

  • Know your values. In all situations, be mindful of your values and say “no” when something doesn’t align perfectly with them.
  • Have clear goals. Identify your long-term goals. This will help you practice delayed gratification when short-term gains begin to create urgency in you.
  • Plan and prioritize. Take time every day to review your long term goals and the plans you have created to get there. Haven’t created a plan yet? Get to it. This is something that you shouldn’t delay.
  • Reward yourself. When you finally close the sale, give yourself a reward. It could be something as simple as a bubble bath or a nice dinner out. You’ve earned it, so celebrate!
  • Improve your emotional intelligence. As I’ve mentioned throughout this article, EI is the key to success in selling (and in all other aspects of business and life). As you grow your EI, you’ll grow your capacity to sell, lead, communicate, etc. Take classes (we have 2 courses on this here), read articles/books, and make sure to actually develop a growth plan. Action breed successes so take inspired action today!

To you success!

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