The job of a salesperson seems to be to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. But, the fuel that keeps companies going in the long run is not short-term cash. It is long term relationships. The faults of the salesperson might be due to their manager who is always pushing them to make more sales. Obviously, they need to make sales. But, planting seeds of trust and admiration that are necessary for a long-term relationship is what really counts.
In real life business, you might get to know a contact for a week, six months, or three years before they actually buy something from you. I have been buying hosting from a guy for three years for a low price. I am finally ready to get programming services from him after thinking about it for three years. In real life, hiring decisions for freelancers and outsourced companies do not come in on schedule. But, if you don’t nurture the relationship correctly they won’t come at all.
The secret is to be personable, knowledgeable and helpful rather than just trying to force a sale down someone’s throat. If you seem like the most wonderful company for the job, people will come to you without you even mentioning the word “contract.”
And after you make your sale, you still need to take care of the customer. Unfortunately, most salespeople are only part of a small piece of the transaction. They are the initial contact for the client or prospect and are out of the picture once the work begins — not very holistic. Maybe it makes more sense for a higher level manager to be in touch with contacts during the whole life of the relationship from initial contact to first job, to three years later. That might be a more realistic way to nurture a customer rather than just a sale.