Pleasantly Persistent

Thursday, May 18 2023

“I emailed her seven times and called four times before she got back to me. But I got the appointment!” said a sales training participant when describing how they were pleasantly persistent in their efforts to meet a prospect.

“I used the Mountaineering Approach to Handling Objections (a technique in our Pure Selling program) and instead of giving up, I was able to keep the conversation going, solved the problem and got the sale,” said another.

Avoid Being Offensive

One of the most important attributes of a successful salesperson is the ability to be persistent without being offensive. Sometimes people need help making decisions, even those that are clearly in their best interests. Once you’ve assessed the needs of your prospective customer, you have an obligation to help them if you can.

Imagine your doctor says she wants to run a few more tests to determine if you have cancer. What would your doctor do if you responded, “Gee Doc. I’m pretty busy right now. Give me your business card and I’ll call when I have some time.” She would persist to get you to comply for your own benefit. How serious would you take her if she responded, “Oh, I’m sorry to bother you. Sure. Give me a call when you’re free.”

Not all your customers’ problems involve life and death choices, but in many cases, the consequence of not helping them make the right decision could be serious. What if you didn’t sell them the insurance they need to look after their family and they died before they had time to think about it? What if the business service you offer could save the company tens of thousands of dollars – perhaps the difference between making a profit and losing money? A sale – and progress – is often the result of the salesperson’s level of persistence.

Persistence Pays

Surveys show that 60% of prospects give at least four “no’s” or objections before they say “yes”. But most salespeople give up too easily:

  • 44% quit after one objection.
  • 22% quit after two.
  • 14% give up after three.
  • 12% after four.

This means the balance – eight percent of the salespeople get 60% of the sales, just by being persistent.

Why do prospects say “no” to a good decision?

  • They simply don’t like making decisions.
  • They don’t have enough information.
  • They don’t trust the salesperson, the company or the product.
  • They don’t see it as a high priority.
  • They aren’t convinced.

You can deal with an objection if you know what the reason is, but giving up at the first sign of resistance is harmful to you, your company, and most important to your prospective customer. A professional salesperson is pleasantly persistent, but never obnoxious.