the law of the harvest
It's the law of the harvest: We always reap what we sow

“What goes around comes back around in abundance.”

The law of the harvest: We always reap what we sow, later and in more abundance. Life is filled with consequences of actions. Successful people know how to plant the seeds that yield the best consequences and nurture them, and then they have the patience to wait.

My Most Unusual Hang-Up

About 10 minutes before I left my hotel room one day, I received a cold call from a company that prepares taxes for small and midsized businesses. The man was formal and totally inattentive. He rushed right into his calling script. I could tell because he was reading it like it was a high-speed radio ad. He talked on and on about his services without pausing for a breath (or a response from me). He rattled it off so fast that I knew he had done no research on me or what I did for a living. And he wanted to do my taxes!


Finally, I told him nicely that I could not talk with him at that time. But before I could say thank you, he hung up on me. That’s a first! I have had someone hang up on me a few times (less than seven) in my sales calls, but I have never had the person selling to me hang up on me! Has that ever happened to you? The man was so busy reading his script and telling me information that I don’t think he had a clue what seed he was planting in his prospects’ minds. He probably doesn’t care, but I am sorry it ended.

I wish there had been more time for us to talk. I would have liked to help him make his calls more effective and harvest a bigger crop from the seeds he is planting. However, he is throwing seeds indiscriminately and not cultivating the right ones that are guaranteed to prosper. He needs to reinvent his approach and attitude.

I wish I could have shared the law of the harvest with him. There are multiple sources, but these laws apply to your sales. If you know these laws, you will reap a great crop of sales.

1. You Always Reap What You Sow

The first law of harvesting is that you get out what you put in (what goes around, comes around). If you plant tomato seeds, you will get tomatoes. If you plant apple seeds, you won’t grow oranges.

In the same way, you will get the benefits of many buyers by planting the seeds that grow buyers. People don’t care about the features you are selling; they only care about the benefits to them. If you plant seeds just about your features, people won’t know the benefits of your products or services and your “crop” won’t grow!

Make your sales about the prospective buyer (the benefits to them). I heard a speaker say years ago, “Nobody cares about your products — only how they can benefit from them.” I learned from watching the show “Pawn Stars” that the more someone sells their own value to the shop owner, the less they want to buy the item. No buyer cares about what you value or your problems. They all want to know what is in the deal for them.

Face it: We have become obsessed with what we think we deserve, to the point that the new national anthem should be, “Oh say, can you see? What’s in it for me?”

We are really into self-indulgence. In fact, almost everyone’s favorite radio station is “WII-FM” (or “What’s In It For Me?”). Arguing about the features or shaming me into buying fails every time. It loses the benefits and focuses on emotions. Emotional buying usually ends with one emotion: regret.

I never bought anything because I lost an argument with a salesperson.

I never sold anything because I won an argument with a buyer.

So what can you learn from sowing/selling in a narcissistic market? Don’t argue! Rather, take advantage of the buyer’s self-focus. Ask more questions about the buyer, their customers, their competition and their business and history. If you ask great questions and engage prospects, you will reap their benefits. In other words, you will reap exactly what you sow.

2. You Reap Later Than When You Sow

The second law involves time. Sales success is about time and numbers. What goes around comes back at some point after time has passed.

I used to live in Indiana. I learned there is a narrow window in which farmers can plant to get their crops in and matured in time for the fall harvest. Nobody plants expecting to harvest immediately. The work a planter does today won’t be reaped for quite some time. In sales, most people don’t buy on the first call. You must put in time and many contacts to get results.

Persistence might pay off, but diligence makes you respectable.

Sales results are all in the numbers. It takes time to close a deal. I have only sold twice in my life on the first call.

Some people say I am persistent, and there was a time when I liked that characterization. But in a market where there are hundreds of pestering salespeople all competing for the same thing (with usually the same approach), I started to dislike that word. There isn’t a lot of difference between the words “pest” and “persistent.” Besides, they share too many letters in common.

I prefer the word “diligent.” It implies hard work and faithfulness to the customer. It is positive in almost every way. I tell customers I am calling back to be diligent to their request. This gets very positive feedback — and results.

I heard a saying several years ago:

Apathetic salespeople have hungry children.

If you practice diligence now, it will pay off later. I know that for every cold call I make today, it will reflect in about six months to a year with more clients. That is why I laugh when someone says, “We aren’t looking for anything now, but we will be next year.”

“That’s okay,” I say. “I need to work next year, too!”

That remark usually gets a positive response. And when I call back the next year, I have a better chance to close the sale. You will reap later than when
you sow.

3. You Reap More Than What You Sow

The third law is that for every seed you plant, the yield (results) will increase in volume. What goes around comes back in abundance.

I live in Florida, where much citrus is grown. It has been a very rainy season, and the orange and lemon trees are tall and abundant. Each tree is producing a lot of fruit, and each fruit contains more seeds. Do you realize that each tree that is producing all that citrus fruit was started with just one seed?

In the same way, the sales numbers work in your favor. The calls you make today will result in more business tomorrow. I just presented for the fifth time to a group I cold-called eight years ago. They keep bringing me back, and each time, it has resulted in more people who want to hire me. That happens frequently in business every year.

It can happen to you, too. The calls you make today will multiply what you reap in the months and years to come. You will have more business than you know what to do with if you put in the efforts (sow more seeds) today.

Successful salespeople know that 60% of their business comes from repeat customers — repeat customers who not only keep buying from them but tell their friends and acquaintances. Great sales almost always result in great referrals, and vice versa. You will reap more than what you sow.

“If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.”
— Zig Ziglar

The seeds you plant today will yield multiple harvests for years to come. Stay with it now and you will be more prosperous in the future.

Look at your recent sales calls. Where are you planting seeds that you expect to result in a harvest? How many sales seeds are you planting today? Do you have a plan for the time it will take to grow your harvest?

The more you plant today, the more will come back to you in a plentiful harvest. What are you doing to plan for a greater yield in the future?

Jim Mathis, IPCS, CSP, CJMT, is The Reinvention PRO, an International Platform Certified Speaker, certified speaking professional, certified John Maxwell team speaker and trainer, and bestselling author of “Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.” For more information on how Mathis and his programs can benefit your organization or group, call 404-922-8199, or visit


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