Why embracing delayed gratification might transform your sales strategy: A guide for SMEs

This isn’t about putting off success; it’s about setting the stage for greater, more sustainable victories

Why embracing delayed gratification might transform your sales strategy

In the fast-paced world of business, everyone seems to be rushing towards achieving immediate success. However, that will only end up damaging your business and destroying any substantial long-term success in the future. 

But there’s a solution, delayed gratification. This isn’t about putting off success; it’s about setting the stage for greater, more sustainable victories.

The Short-term vs. Long-term sales approach

Sales teams are often under pressure to deliver quick results — to hit ambitious KPI’s and to boost this quarter’s numbers. While these aggressive sales tactics might lead to a slight temporary increase in income; they won’t build lasting customer relationships or brand loyalty. It’s a sprint method in a marathon reality.

But what if you shifted that perspective? What if, instead of chasing the quick dollar, you focused on building customer relationships with patience and strategic planning? This is the essence of delayed gratification in sales — a method that can substantially benefit SMEs by building a foundation for enduring success.

Building long term relationships could be the difference between selling to a customer once and selling to them for the rest of your life.

Building genuine relationships over transactions

The first step in embracing delayed gratification is prioritizing genuine relationships over mere transactions. In my own experience with launching and developing businesses like Fluid, I’ve seen that taking the time to truly understand and solve our customers’ problems builds a trust that no amount of discounting or hard selling can achieve. These customers become loyal advocates for your brand, returning again and again and bringing new clients with them.

Quality over quantity

It’s easy to think that more sales mean more success. However, focusing on the quality of each interaction will lead to better outcomes. Higher quality interactions will result in a better reputation and often results in more concurrent deals. This shift in focus from quantity to quality does not mean fewer sales; it means better, more profitable sales that contribute to a stable business growth.

Strategic patience

Strategic patience is looking beyond the immediate horizon and onto the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on sales targets you should set up a system where sales targets are surpassed naturally because of the groundwork of trust and value built before. When developing HelpBnk.com, we took our time to build a platform that genuinely helped people, which paid off significantly in user engagement and retention.

Cultivate a culture of value

When your team understands the importance of creating value, their approach to sales changes. They begin to see themselves as consultants rather than just salespeople. This shift in mindset is key to ensuring that interactions with clients are more about understanding and solving problems and less about just pushing products or services. This approach not only improves customer satisfaction but also boosts team morale and effectiveness.


Remember, in sales, as in many areas of life, the best results come not from rushing towards the finish line but from enjoying and making the most of the journey towards it. By focusing on building strong foundations — through quality, community, and value — your business is far more likely to enjoy lasting success.

After all, the best things come to those who not only wait but also work wisely while they do.

Simon Squibb
Simon Squibb

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