Think back to your 2nd grade science class, when you planted your very first lima bean seed in that little plastic cup. You pushed it down into the soil, gave it a good watering, and found the perfect spot for it on the window ledge so it could absorb the sun’s light. You spent the remainder of the day excitedly glancing at your plastic cup, just in case it decided to sprout in mere minutes. When you arrived at school the next morning you were hoping to find a good and hearty lima bean stalk, but instead, all you saw was a lifeless cup of soil. Your disappointment continued for the next few days, especially as you began to see your classmates’ plants spring to life. You panicked a little. “Did I water it too much? Too little? Should I try a different spot on the window ledge? Ack! Ack!” But then, one morning you arrived at school and there it was: a tiny green sprout in your cup. It finally paid off; the soil, the water, the sunlight… the waiting. It was a lesson in patience, hard work, and some good old-fashioned faith. And really, it’s no different than the marketing lesson that you need to learn today.

Assuming you’ve put in the hard work of creating a strategic marketing plan and have put it into effect, you now need time for your actions to take root. Just like the lima bean, if you’re hoping to see results overnight, you’re going to be disappointed and may be tempted to try something different or quit altogether. This could lead to wasted time and money. The reality is that it often takes 3-6 months for marketing efforts to bear fruit. So, if the television commercial you’ve been running for a month is not yet causing your phone to ring off the hook, don’t panic. Turns out Arnold Glasgow had it right by saying, “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” Research shows that it takes at least 7 “touches” with your brand before a client is willing to take action. It takes time for those interactions to happen so remember that little lima bean, full of potential, and wait patiently.

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