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Sales is a Long Game. Best to Use the 3 I's for Success.




In the dynamic world of business, the pursuit of success often intertwines with the willingness to weather the challenges of a long sales cycle. As a seasoned sales strategist and trainer, I've seen firsthand how the temptation to surrender can loom large when confronted with extended timelines. However, the true essence of maximizing returns lies not in giving up prematurely but in persistently navigating the complexities while adding substantial value throughout the process, AKA not "checking in" or "touching base."


When business prospects require a lengthy sales cycle, it's crucial to rethink the perception of time. It's not merely a duration spent but an investment in cultivating relationships, understanding needs, and positioning oneself as an invaluable resource.


Every moment devoted to a prolonged sales journey contributes to your Return on Time (ROT). If you give up prematurely, you forfeit not only the potential revenue but also the accumulated value of time, effort, and insights garnered along the way.


Persistence, therefore, becomes the linchpin of sales success in elongated cycles. Yet, mere persistence won't suffice. It's imperative to make certain that each interaction has substantial value, steering clear of banal "checking in" or "touching base" routines that dilute impact. The methodology pivots on the strategic use of the 3 I's—Make Introductions, Share Information, Extend Invitations—woven seamlessly into the sales narrative.


Making introductions extends beyond a perfunctory exchange of pleasantries. It's about forging genuine connections, understanding the prospect's business and personality, and offering contacts that enrich their perspective. This fosters trust and positions you as a knowledgeable ally and a networking resource rather than a relentless salesperson.


Sharing information is a strategic art form. It goes beyond bombarding prospects with generic data; it's about sending links to relevant TedTalks, podcasts, newsletters, and business information that you believe will add value to the prospect's business or personal lives.


Extending invitations is a valuable approach to engage prospects actively. It involves inviting them to industry events, webinars, or networking opportunities that they will find beneficial.


Throughout the sales cycle, positioning oneself as a resource is pivotal. Being a resource means being a fountain of insights and a conduit to valuable connections. It's about actively listening, understanding the prospect's situation, and proactively offering guidance or assistance, irrespective of immediate gains. This builds credibility and fortifies the relationship, making it resilient against the passage of time.


Persistence in adding value throughout the process should guide you when there is an extended sales cycles. By adhering to the principles of the 3 I's—introductions, information, invitations—and positioning yourself as an unwavering resource, you not only enhance your chances of closing deals but also cultivate a network of partnerships that transcend mere transactions.


In the realm of elongated sales cycles, perseverance blended with strategic value addition is the definitive path to securing your fair share of Return on Time.

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