Authors and Consultants | GP Strategies Corporation

Top Performer Perspective: Purposeful Patience

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Image courtesy of

We live in an age of instant gratification. We see it, we want it, we get it. We complain when receiving an Amazon Prime order takes a whopping two days. And don’t even think about waiting over a minute for a new app to download!

We all know that salespeople are the epitome of the instant gratification culture. They focus on short-term sales results and are furious when anything gets in the way of the immediate sale. It’s all about making quota, right?

Well, maybe not.

We spend a lot of time analyzing how top salespeople excel in various contexts. Recently a very successful, highly compensated sales rep in a complex sales environment told us he wasn’t focusing on the current year. He had a new territory with new customers. That, combined with a complex sales cycle, meant the current year was pretty much a write-off for him. Instead, he was focusing on establishing the foundations that would pay off in the next year and then come to full fruition in the following year and beyond.

That patience, the ability to take a long-term view rather than a short-term view, is a hallmark of successful consultative salespeople as well as those in other roles.


Question to ponder:

  • Do your leaders encourage taking a purposeful long-term view, or do they overemphasize immediate gratification?


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