By Susan Kim | July 9, 2007
Oftentimes when I sit out in the ocean to surf, I wait. Wait for the sets, wait for the right wave, wait my turn in the lineup. It certainly takes an element of patience out there - sometimes a LOT of patience.
Business is a similar practice in patience, especially when we are floating in the sea of prospects.
Perhaps you meet someone at a networking event. There is a nice conversation and an exchange of business cards. You’re feeling good - you made a strong connection, you’re sure that this is certainly going to lead to a great business relationship. That evening, you decide to pop a quick email to follow up on your earlier discussion before you go to bed. In the morning you run to your computer in anticipation. You’re thinking the networking is going to pay off! You turn your computer on. . . no email. You hit “Get Mail” again, . . nothing. Your computer screen is silently staring you in the face, thinking, “Now what?” You feel a little let down, but you’re still pretty sure that you will soon get a response.
A day goes by. Nothing.
Two days go by. Nothing.
As each day goes on, you’re feeling more and more dejected. And then after about a week, you start thinking, “Should I call?” “Should I send another email? Maybe they didn’t get my first one.”
Certainly waiting in anticipation can be a true test of one’s patience. But it can also be frustrating and paralyzing to your business.
Business is a practice in patience. But once you master the art of patience, it pays off . . .
I have the pleasure of being the guest speaker at professional and community organizations, like Rotary club. A couple of years ago, after a Rotary meeting, I had a really great conversation with a woman who expressed interest in coaching. We exchanged business cards and she left the meeting telling me, “I’m definitely going to call you.” When I got home I followed up with an email. No response. . . In a couple of weeks I published my newsletter and thought she might like it, so I sent it to her. She didn’t respond. But a month later she wound up signing up for my newsletter. Then after that I didn’t hear from her for 1 whole year . . . when she called to hire me as her coach!
She told me later that I was always in the back of her mind, but she just didn’t get around to calling. BUT she said that she got my newsletters and always appreciated them and then one day it triggered something in her - which is when she called me.
In business, having a system of follow up promotes patience - you know you’re getting in front of your prospect and that they are being exposed to your message, so you don’t have to TRY so hard.
Practicing patience is instrumental in business.
Remember, business is a process - it takes time.
Hang back and wait for THE wave.
When the “wave of the day” comes your way, just ride it . .