Sometimes, when I am walking the dog, I forget what the whole deal is about. In these occasions I get anxious to go around the block.
But “Walking the dog” is not about going around the block. It is not about completing a task. This is the dog’s time, and mine will gladly remind me if I forget. The dog is not interested in “going somewhere” or walk a number of steps. It is about “her business”, whatever that happens to be that day, at that time of the day. If she wants to sniff around for a few minutes more at one particular spot, that’s what has to happen. Only AFTER all that happened, is when you can complete the walk and get back to the house.
Our job, more than showing them the way we should go, consists most of the time in just standing with them. Things will only happen at their pace, all the sniffing around, is just part of the process.
Many times, when we are working with customers, either in sales or in a consulting engagement, this is what we have to do as well. It is not about completing the sales cycle, it is about the customer getting what they are looking for. Just stand with them. And hey, just as I love my dog, I love my customers too.