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Why salespeople must be ‘long-term greedy’: A five-step approach to winning more sales

A five-step approach to winning sales.

Gus Levy from Goldman Sachs first coined the phrase ‘long-term greedy’ and it feels like a super important concept for salespeople today. ‘Greed’ is defined as strongly wanting more of something and that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. In fact, most sales leaders probably want their salespeople to be greedy when it comes to closing deals. However, there are two types of greed and the wrong type is not only bad, but unfortunately way too common in sales.

Short-term greed is all about the quick buck. ‘Short-term greedy’ salespeople want to make as much money as possible right now and are happy to cut corners and do the wrong thing by the customer to get there. Short-term greedy sales people almost always lose much more than they win, certainly over the longer term.

Long-term greedy is all about the long game. It takes more work, it requires homework, honesty, a deep understanding of the client and a focus on helping your client achieve whatever they need to achieve- it’s worth it though. Long-term greedy salespeople ultimately win.

Here are 5 steps to winning sales, and becoming a ‘long-term greedy’ salesperson:

1. Do your research

Most salespeople put far too little effort into who they contact and why, so they frequently end up selling to the wrong people for the wrong reasons. This results in annoyed clients and high churn. Long-term greedy salespeople do their research, build buyer personas based on previous experience and focus on contacting the ‘right’ customers. It might take longer at the outset, but the result is higher yielding, longer-term success.

2. Focus on your client, not just their business

Not only are clients twice as likely to buy from you if they can see the value to them personally; they’re twice as likely to advocate for you internally and externally.  Long-term greedy salespeople focus on helping the client succeed in their role- they have their client’s back and the client knows it. That leads to more business, and, as the client moves around the marketplace, it leads to new accounts and more revenue.

3. Push back the client’s horizon

If you want long-term success, then you have to talk about the long term. The here and now is fast moving and chaotic for clients. Long-term greedy salespeople push back the client’s horizon, concentrate on where they want to get to, and then co-create solutions that will get them there.

4. Sell the right stuff

Short-term greedy salespeople sell whatever gets them to target. Long-term greedy salespeople take the time to make sure that they truly understand what the client needs and explore whether they have the right solution. Sometimes that means selling a cheaper option or even walking away. Clients remember that and the salesperson will reap the longer-term benefit.

5. Make sure your solution works

Long-term greedy salespeople know that their job doesn’t end when the contract gets signed- whatever they’ve sold has to go on to deliver results. They have ROI baked into every aspect of their approach. This means understanding what success looks like for the client, teaching them how to execute and then staying involved with customer success regardless of the formal team set up.

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