Two years, and eight minutes, actually.
In fact, to recap, the deal I closed today took the following path:
3. Eight minutes to close the deal on today’s call.
2. About 17 minutes from when I first proposed the idea about two months ago. This time included a few emails back and forth, largely spent on arranging last week’s call where we closed the deal.
1. And then, well, two years. Or more.
You see, my point, most deals aren’t really closed in 25 minutes worth of actual work. In my case, this deal involved 25 minutes of acute work, plus 24 months (give or take) of effort.
So, what did this effort entail?
A. Two years worth of engaging with my client’s community.
B. Two years worth of contributing content to my client’s community.
C. Two years worth of supporting (and promoting) other members of my client’s community.
D. Two years worth of actually showcasing both my actual client and members of his community on my various podcasts.
E. Two years worth of promoting my client’s community on my social media networks.
F. And hopefully, two years worth of proving myself to both my new client and his community by observing my work, thus proving I can do the work.
All this stuff wasn’t really direct sales activity.
Or was it?
All I can hope is, first and foremost, that my new client sees my work, and values my work, and is well aware of the contribution I can make to his project.
But let’s be honest, all the effort I put in for two years probably mattered more then anything. There are others who could perform what I was hired to do.
But no one else put in the time I did to support both my client and his network.
Over those two years, a few people along the way whispered that the effort wasn’t worth all the trouble. They didn’t understand it. They didn’t see value into putting in that kind of time.
Last week’s eight-minute sales call proved me right.
To learn more about my take on sales, check out my book, The Zen of Sales
[Drawing by Hugh]