Supermarket Shopping and Sales Pipeline – a lesson on patience

cartWhile grocery shopping on a Saturday, with two of my children, I quickly lost count of the number of impatient shoppers.  I’m sure it wasn’t the best parenting move to allow both of them to have their own mini-shopping cart…in a semi-crowded supermarket…just before a Winter storm was about to hit.  But they wanted to help and I encourage independence.   We had only been shopping about 3 minutes before the sighs of irritated shoppers became painfully obvious.  For example, when my daughter’s wheel went wonky and the woman picking out potato chips next to her gave me a look of “my goodness, get her out of my way.” I stared her down with the biggest smile – she still wasn’t happy – even though it took a mere 4 seconds to get the wheel back on track.  We picked up the pace and moved on.

All in all, we had a productive morning.  As a special treat, I took my littles to the McDonalds drive-thru (don’t judge, all things in moderation – including fast-food).  Our food was delivered in record-time and I pulled forward to hand out drinks.  I did not notice I hadn’t pulled up far enough until the guy behind me laid on his horn, threw his arms up and started shouting “get out of the way, lady.”  Seriously, it was a matter of seconds and we’d be on our way and OUT OF HIS WAY.  His lack of patience was mind-boggling.  Even worse was when I saw a very young child riding shot-gun with him, witnessing this bad behavior.  Surrounded by many adults with impatient behavior, it got me thinking about what triggers us to reach a point of annoyance that leads us down a path of impatience.

The psychology of patience tells us, “impatience is mainly a person’s inability to withstand a certain irritating emotion.”  A few examples of what causes a trigger leading to irritating emotions could be:  running late when we are in a hurry, not seeing results as quickly as we’d like or experiencing a different outcome then originally expected.

I like to think I am a patient person.  With three littles 6 years old and under, most days I have no choice but to channel my inner zen and not sweat the little things (but I am not perfect and I do sweat some things).  Where I find myself being the most impatient is when it takes longer than expected to show results.  Whether those results are potty-training my youngest little or launching a new marketing campaign.  Both examples, despite being extremely different situations, trigger an irritating emotion of not experiencing the outcome I want – more quickly.

This week at work I was reminded and encouraged about the importance of being patient and not losing sight of the positive momentum we are building to deliver results the business requires.  A colleague shared, “Our brains are wired to want to succeed and sometimes sabotage us when we don’t. It’s up to us to keep our minds right when we aren’t getting the desired outcomes.  Stay the course, work the plan and remember the initial, positive outcomes and how we got them.”  How encouraging is that?  After he shared that with the broader team, our sales pipeline spiked by nearly a third.  A timely reminder of the importance of being patient and keeping it positive.

A few of my employees had performance reviews due this week.  While compiling data to enter successes, I received yet another reminder on the importance of being patient.  In the middle of 2018 the team applied an Account Based Marketing strategy to a demand generation campaign for a niche group of higher education institutions.  That campaign has generated a 1:40 ROI when you look at the net new logo pipeline it has generated.  Wonderful results that didn’t happen overnight.  The team stayed the course, worked the plan and celebrated mini-milestones until that fabulous ROI appeared.

What have I learned this week from my supermarket experience with littles to seeing sales pipeline numbers spike?  We need to encourage ourselves and those around us to stay the course and avoid situations that trigger frustrating emotions. How do you avoid frustration from creeping in?  Do a quick measurement: is your WIN count ahead of your loss count? My children really wanted to help grocery shop and driving their own cart meant they had to be alert (WIN) and avoid interrupting other patrons shopping experience (WIN) – despite irritating some (Loss).  I encouraged them along the way and they learned a lesson on independence and awareness (WIN).  Reviewing the weekly pipeline results and a single-campaign that is well on its way to breaking a company-wide ROI record (WIN) keeps me in a positive state of mind that progress is happening and that good things do come to those who wait.

#Patience #Leadership #Sales #WorkingMom #DemandGeneration

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