Play the long game

Most buyers are slow buyers. In fact, only 15% of people who buy within two years make a purchase in the first 90 days. Everyone else—85% of people who buy—don’t make a purchase until after 90 days.

Instead of pushing to make a sale that’s unlikely to happen (and almost certainly undermining future sales), show genuine empathy and establish credibility, authority and trust. Invest in nurturing. Prioritise relationships above transactions, and the money will come.


  • It’s good to know that most people won’t buy immediately — and that this is not reason for panic. Now that you have this knowledge, what can you do to provide value to people over a period of 12+ months?
  • The easiest way to nurture people, is to find ways to actually provide value to them (see Law #11). For most businesses, the most impactful way to be helpful, is to help people see the world through a different lens. Sell the worldview, and keep on selling it, until people are ready to hear the message.
  • Nurturing is the process of maintaining a relationship or, better yet, slowly improving the relationship over time. Most marketers are so busy driving traffic, they barely allocate time to nurturing. The best marketers do things exactly the other way around.
  • Nurturing can be done through a variety of tools and tactics: emails, webinars, PDFs, video, free products, phone calls, physical visits, roses, chocolate. The list is almost endless. You don’t need all those things, but you have all of them at your disposal. Pick the ones that suit you, and focus there.

In Practice

Seth Godin has been nurturing people since 2002. Every day, he writes. All his messages are consistent, and each one helps you see the world a tiny little bit more in the way that Seth sees it. Each message strives to educate or entertain. Every day, there is value available, to anyone who’s interested, free of charge.

If you do business with Seth, you know pretty well what you’re going to get. You know how Seth sees the world, so you know what philosophy you can expect from his products or services. You also know that Seth Godin is a giver, who’s compounding goodwill, rather than trying to make a quick buck selling you a shitty product. That would be a dumb, short-sighted thing to do. Seth is the epitome of nurturing, and providing value continuously to build a brand.

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