Persistence: The Only Key You Need

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A large portion of my time is spent with my sales team.  Interviewing, training, coaching, commiserating and celebrating (lather-rinse-repeat)…

When interviewing candidates, the one-and-only ingredient that I look for is persistence. Confidence, enthusiasm, smooth-talking and dressing sharply are all attributes for success.  But the crucial character trait that will make-or-break a salesperson is persistence.  

I’ve seen salespeople invest weeks and months into potential opportunities, only to walk away right at the finish line.  As Ross Perot says, “Most people quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”

According to marketing Experts:

44% of sales people give up after one “no” from a customer
22% give up after two “no’s”
14% give up after three “no’s”
12% give up after 4 “no’s”.

One more fast fact: 80% of prospects say “no” FOUR times before they say yes!  It’s a process that they need to warm up to. Did you get that?! 44% of salespeople give up after the first no!  You have the perfect product, vendor, and price – simply the time is not yet right. Yet most salespeople have given up by that point, when in fact the “no” was merely part of the sales process rather than a final true “no”.

Note:  Too many salespeople believe that persistence means putting their prospects on a quarterly call list. That isn’t persistence. 

Persistence is a lot closer to a child asking for candy; they keep asking until they wear you down, completely unimpressed and unmoved by your objections. If you feel strongly that you can make a difference then you should be trying relentlessly to get their attention!

Use creative persistence. You don’t want to be the “pushy” salesperson who calls and calls and e-mails and calls to the point where you get deleted the second you’re identified. You do want to be the salesperson who engages through creativity and differentiation.

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!
Kevin