In B2B Sales, impatience provides a competitive advantage

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The sales profession is rewarding, but it also has its challenges. Sales professionals face a tough situation when a buyer stops responding through the buying cycle, and unfortunately, this happens quite frequently. 

In any deal, a sales professional’s toughest competitor is the customer’s decision to do nothing. Being in the waiting lounge (referring to the period when a potential buyer is unresponsive or non-committal) can cause delays and create uncertainty in the sales process, potentially leading to missed opportunities and lost deals. It’s a frustrating reality, but understanding and addressing the reasons behind a customer’s decision to stay in the waiting lounge can make all the difference in turning a missed opportunity into a successful sale. 

As a salesperson, what do you do when you face this situation? Should you be patient or impatient? In this blog, I will explore why impatience can provide a competitive advantage in B2B sales.

Understanding the waiting lounge

One of the most frustrating situations a salesperson can experience is when a potential buyer suddenly goes silent during the buying cycle. You’ve tried to reach out to them, build a relationship, and present your solution, but then you’re met with radio silence. Your time in the waiting lounge can be stressful and uncertain, leaving you wondering if the buyer has lost interest or is busy with other things. Being in the waiting lounge can harm the sales process in several ways.

Firstly, the longer you’re in the waiting lounge, the greater the risk of missed opportunities. Buyers have short attention spans; if you don’t keep them engaged, they will likely move on to other solutions. The longer you wait for a response, the more likely the buyer will lose interest and move on to a competitor.

Secondly, being in the waiting lounge can lead to lost deals. The waiting lounge can become a breeding ground for doubt and uncertainty if you’re not careful. You may start to question your abilities, your solution, or even the buyer’s intentions. This negative mindset can, in turn, impact your ability to close the deal.

So, what can you do to avoid the waiting lounge? The key is to stay engaged with the buyer throughout the buying cycle. Check in with them, provide helpful resources and offer valuable insights. By staying engaged, you’ll keep the buyer interested and motivated, reducing the risk of radio silence and missed opportunities.

The downside of patience

As a sales professional, you may have been advised to be patient when closing deals. The idea is that pushing too hard or appearing too eager could turn off potential customers and lead to missed opportunities. While this advice has some merit, being too patient can negatively affect your sales efforts. The problem with excessive patience is that it can lead to inaction, which can be detrimental to the sales process. When a customer goes silent or seems to be dragging their feet, giving them space and waiting for them to make a move can be tempting. However, this approach can be risky. The longer you wait, the more likely the customer will lose interest or find another solution. This is especially true if your competitors take a more proactive approach and regularly engage with the customer.

Action, on the other hand, can be a powerful tool in the sales process. Even if your efforts don’t lead to an immediate sale, they can help to build momentum and keep the conversation going. For example, you might email or call to check in with the customer and offer additional resources or information. This approach demonstrates your commitment to their success and keeps you top of mind as your buyer evaluates their options.

Of course, there is a fine line between being proactive and being pushy. You don’t want to bombard the customer with too many messages or come across as desperate. However, taking a strategic and thoughtful approach can keep the conversation going and increase your chances of success.

In short, while patience has its place in the sales process, it’s important not to rely on it too heavily. Instead, taking action and staying engaged with the customer can be more beneficial in the long run, even if it feels uncomfortable or risky. Remember, the worst that can happen is that the customer says no – but even then, you’ll have gained valuable insights and experience that can inform your future sales efforts.

The benefits of impatience

We often view impatience as a negative trait in sales, but it can be the key to success in certain situations. In the fast-paced world of B2B sales, time is of the essence, and being too patient can lead to missed opportunities and lost deals.

Impatience can provide a competitive advantage in the sales process. A salesperson can move things down the funnel faster by creating a sense of urgency in the buying committee. This method is critical when dealing with large corporations, where the decision-making process can be slow and cumbersome. By demonstrating a sense of urgency, the salesperson can cut through the red tape and get to the decision-makers more quickly.

Additionally, impatience can lead to corrective action. For example, if a salesperson is not getting the responses they need, they may need to take corrective action to get back on track. They can re-evaluate their approach, target different decision-makers, or find new ways to communicate their value proposition. Without impatience, the salesperson may continue down the wrong path, wasting valuable time and resources.

Finally, impatience can help the salesperson understand where they stand in the sales process. If they are not getting the responses they need, it may be a sign that the deal will not happen. In this case, it is better to cut their losses and move on to the next opportunity rather than wasting more time and resources on a deal that is unlikely to close.

Of course, sales professionals must be mindful of this and strike the right balance between persistence and respect for the buyer’s process. But when used strategically, impatience can be a powerful tool in the salesperson’s arsenal, helping them close more deals and achieve their goals faster.

Strategies to combat the waiting lounge

When dealing with the waiting lounge, salespeople can feel powerless and frustrated. However, there are several strategies they can employ to keep the sales cycle moving and avoid missed opportunities.

Firstly, salespeople should take a proactive approach and pick up the phone to call their internal advocate or mobiliser, helping to reignite interest in the deal and provide valuable insights into any issues that may be causing delays. By speaking directly with their contact, salespeople can demonstrate their commitment to the deal and build stronger relationships.

Another strategy is to leverage marketing materials, industry news or leaders in their organisation to engage with the buying committee. For example, sharing case studies or success stories can help demonstrate the solution’s value and build confidence in the salesperson’s offering. Similarly, providing insights into the latest trends or developments in the industry can showcase the salesperson’s expertise and help to differentiate their solution from competitors.

It’s also important for salespeople to be persistent and consistent in their follow-up efforts by setting regular touchpoints with the buying committee and being responsive to any questions or concerns. By demonstrating their commitment to the deal and being responsive to the buyer’s needs, salespeople can help to build trust and confidence in their solution.

In addition to these strategies, salespeople should consider using technology and automation to keep the sales cycle moving. For example, using marketing automation tools to send targeted messages or reminders can help to keep the buyer engaged and provide valuable insights into their level of interest. Similarly, data analytics and reporting tools can provide valuable insights into the buyer’s behaviour and preferences, allowing salespeople to tailor their approach and messaging accordingly.


To combat the waiting lounge, salespeople have various strategies at their disposal. The key is to stay proactive and take corrective action rather than sitting idle and waiting for the buyer to respond. Picking up the phone and calling an internal advocate or mobiliser can be an effective strategy, as can leveraging marketing materials, industry news, or leaders in their organisation to engage with the buying committee.

Sales professionals must balance being persistent and not being too pushy or desperate. By demonstrating a sense of urgency and providing value to the buyer, salespeople can create a win-win situation for both parties.

By taking the right course of action, salespeople can avoid missed opportunities, move the deal along the funnel, and ultimately close the deal. It’s up to sales professionals to leverage the strategies discussed and stay proactive throughout the buying cycle. By doing so, they can set themselves apart from the competition and achieve their sales goals.

Resonate offers expert sales strategies to boost team productivity and revenue generation

If you’re struggling to optimise your sales team’s performance, Resonate can help. Our expertise in sales can help your team overcome challenges, increase productivity, and ultimately drive revenue. By understanding the waiting lounge, avoiding the downside of patience, and leveraging the benefits of impatience, your sales team can gain a competitive advantage and close more deals. Contact us to discuss how we can help you improve your sales team’s performance.

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RK is the CEO & Co-Founder of Resonate.

RK is Resonate’s chief strategist, thought leader, and IT industry veteran. Our clients depend on RK to advise on their business strategy, channel strategy, and sales strategy. 

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