“Patience is a key element of success.” Bill Gates
With patience, you are equipped to ride through challenges in a more flexible and calm way. In that sense it is true that patience is a virtue, as well as a form of action. Successful entrepreneurs all over the world and throughout time have spoken in favour of being patient.
It is valuable then that we learn to develop patience as online sellers; not just when times are challenging; but all the time in fact.
So in order to do that, let’s approach patience as a skill. And however difficult, like all skills, this one can be learnt and cultivated as well.
Make a start by having patience with yourself first.
“Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson” – Elon Musk
How can patience help online sellers?
Patient Sellers deliver precise solutions for their buyers.
Simply put, online sellers who are patient, understand exactly the problem their buyers are facing and are able to present their product or service as a valuable solution accurately. Without the patience to understand the buyer’s problem, offering your product too forcefully erodes its value and can make your product or service seem either too generic, or an unnecessary expense.
Once all digital marketing communication is able to reflect the message that your product solves a specific need, buyers feel justified in discovering more for themselves and ultimately buying the product.
Patient sellers can wait for the right timing or the right buyer to get the right value for their product.
The right buyer does exist. This is especially important to remember when you are riding through a dull sale period. Just because it has been unsuccessful one week, it really doesn’t mean you won’t do better next week. Keep a fixed plan in mind and stay with that before taking any action on reducing prices or putting things on offer. Remember, it could be possible that in fact fixing a higher price, upselling, or bundling work better instead. Or you could use your dull sale period to focus on improving digital communication. Either way, don’t rush into scattered action. Stay patient because that allows you to see the bigger picture well.
Having patience allows sellers to develop deeper knowledge of their own product.
Patient sellers learn to ask relevant diagnostic questions, gather feedback and testimonials diligently, and in their quest to offer genuinely valuable solutions, gain deeper knowledge about the ways their own product can perform in different situations.
In addition, putting up some of these testimonials on your website is also a powerful way of showing potential buyers real life uses and performance; and improving their knowledge as well. Once customers have the necessary information while investigating or researching, and are more aware of their expected experience, they are more likely to convert.
How can we develop patience as online sellers?
Stay away from information overload
There’s too much information available online. You might be tying yourself up in knots over sales, site visitors, conversions, SEO, and a host of other data that you start to compare your business against.
If that is so, take a step back.
Focus on what’s important.
At different stages of your business you will have a different goal and different understanding. For instance, typically if you are in the setting up stage, or just building your online business, you might not yet be familiar with the impact of aspects like SEO, integrating social selling, gathering email subscription lists, sending newsletters, etc. Your goals of setting up your web store with your products, managing inventory, enabling payments and logistics are your focus.
As you move along the process patiently, your understanding deepens and you become familiar with enabling more features for your store, and understanding their impact on your bottom line. Give yourself time to go through this process well. Don’t rush through for the sake of ‘getting it all’ too early. Build one step at a time; sure and steady.
Detach a little from outcomes; stay balanced
Patient buyers and sellers are both effective negotiators which comes with practice, consistency, and an ability to detach emotionally from the process.
This means as you wait patiently, you must learn to keep a good attitude. No point waiting with feelings of frustration or stress. That will cloud your decision making, and might even provoke you into making irrational decisions that work against your success.
The best way to describe what will be a good attitude as you wait for outcomes, is to stay calmly steadfast. That gives you the time and space to understand your feelings and manage them well. It is key to success with business and in all relationships whether personal or professional.
Don’t copy other entrepreneurs.
There is a real difference between being inspired by someone and copying them. Unless you develop your own identity, customers will never recognise anything unique in your brand and you will be easily lost in the crowd. So sit down and spend some thought into identifying what is unique about your brand, product or service. And don’t be afraid to show your own style in communication, or even in the way you operate your business.
Take deep breaths.
You will find this to be the most valuable thing you can do for developing patience. Observe your emotions carefully. Become aware of how you feel as you wait for something to materialise. Slow down your breath and become conscious of each inhale and exhale. You will feel relaxed and the simple act of focusing on your breath each day will help you cultivate patience as well as resist any default impulse of getting angry or impatient.
Use setbacks and challenges as learning tools.
Keep an open mind, welcome change and continue learning from every situation around you. Whether it is an insight into consumer behaviour, handling a personal relationship, an experience as a buyer on another website, or anything else, practice developing your curiosity and taking learnings from the situation and applying your learning for improving your ability to make better business decisions. It all builds towards an approach to long term success
Stay honest with yourself; as well as focussed and realistic in your effort to see real business success. Remember, an online business takes time to build. Have patience.