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Sales Persistence

10 Oct, 2001 By: Terrill Klett imageSource

Sales Persistence

growing up, I was fortunate in the fact that my parents instilled in us many
values, including that of persistency. We were taught to work hard and be
persistent until we got what we wanted. My parents were persistent in their
quest for a daughter, because you see…first there was Jeff, then Fred,
Terrill, Kyle, Jaren, Jon, Derek, Matthew and then, finally, Stephanie
arrived! Now, that’s what I call persistency! My dad then had to depend upon
his persistent nature to provide ten children (William Benjamin made his debut a
number of years following Stephanie) with three square meals, along with all of
those other financial responsibilities, not the least of which was a college
education! It is this trait (amongst many others) that helped make my father one
of the most successful salesmen in the history of the Prudential Insurance
Company. Selling insurance for 45 years requires a lot of persistency, which
hasn’t seemed to have left him yet! He’s still selling strong at the age of
70, and is listed as one of the country’s top producers!


Equals Success

biggest difference between people who succeed and those who don’t is not
usually talent (or lack thereof), but persistence. Many brilliant people give
up. Who wants to run the risk of being knocked down repeatedly? Abraham Lincoln,
perhaps the most persistent person ever stated, “I’m not concerned about how
many times you have fallen, but how many times you get back up”. Highly
successful people don’t quit. Often it’s said that successful people are
ordinary people who got up one more time than they fell down. Persistency is a
trait that we are all born with; over the years it is sometimes lost as our
confidence fades. We need to hold onto that trait that we displayed in the
grocery store at the age of two as we kicked and screamed for the candy bar at
the checkout. Hopefully we’ve tempered our kicking and screaming, but we still
need that, “Don’t give up” attitude.


And Confidence

rightfully be persistent you have to have motivation and confidence. Knowledge
generates confidence, because you are fully aware of the benefits that your
product can provide, and you are persistent because you are excited about how
these applications will make your customers’ operations run much more
smoothly. Since office products have become digital, there is so much more to
learn. Dedicate extra time to the learning of your products—this will give you
a stronger belief in the solutions you are selling.


seems to come easier at those times following a successful sale. The confidence
is flowing and you are feeling pumped up! It is at this time that you should
proceed with calls and contact your toughest prospects, or make an additional
fifteen calls to make up for a call volume shortage for the week. Being
assertive is a fundamental sales trait and as you gain confidence, it becomes
second nature. It all starts with persistency.


the psychology factor. Tell yourself that everyone is a potential customer. This
helps motivate you when making your daily calls. Everyone is a “potential
customer” because the average office product system is replaced about every 48
months. You need to emotionally commit yourself each day to not give up, because
staying power will give you paying power! Mentally predetermine activities that
are important to perform during the day, from prospecting to closing.


Science Of It

as there is an emotional commitment, there is a scientific (analytical) one. You
need to be familiar with the degree of persistency required to result in the
final outcome your are striving for. When prospecting, you should be able to
schedule 3-4 appointments for every 80 telephone contacts and another 6-8 for
every 80 cold calls. With proper qualifying, the yield will be about 3-4
demonstrations, which will be 1-1/2 sales in a week’s time. If the numbers
listed above seem unattainable, you’re probably not pushing yourself
throughout the entire day. Sometimes rejection and mistakes slow you down, but
remember if you make a mistake, it’s only a failure if you don’t learn from
it. You may find it necessary to set up a list of tasks with deadlines and a
check-off sheet to ensure you obtain the calls necessary to succeed.


ability to be persistent cannot be dictated by your ominous mood, or bad
weather. Sometimes being “under the weather” can generate an unmotivated
state of mind. Some days it seems as though more and more salespeople hit the
pavement seeking that same piece of pie, and it’s just too overwhelming; or
after working diligently for eight hours, only one person has agreed to an
appointment. The reality is, that it’s a competitive world and, like it or
not, persistence has to overcome all of these obstacles. What’s more, it has
to happen every day, first thing in the morning, not just when you feel like it!


Differences: Persistent Vs. Pushy

persistent is not to be confused with being “pushy.” Pushy salespeople are
rather bothersome, but persistent ones gain respect if you are relaying your
ability to provide value to the prospects’ business. For example, it’s good
to be persistent if you’ve discovered another value to relay to the customer.
Just make certain that your information is appealing and that you are able to
generate further interest every time you call—this will practically guarantee
that your calls will be taken. Once you call back “just checking-in,” you
may have over stepped your welcome. It takes talent in knowing when not
to call.


degree of persistency will vary with everyone. Yes, we all have to row with the
oars we were given, but it’s not the size of the oars that count but how many
times you paddle! Sylvester Stallone stated, “I am not the smartest or the
most talented person in the world, but I’ve succeeded because I keep going and
going and going.” Moreover, take one of history’s smartest people,
Aristotle, who stated, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not
an act, but a habit.”


father repeatedly stated, “The right habits will take you through the
difficult times.” Your ability to be persistent has to be consistent. It’s
difficult at times because we don’t want to interrupt others during their busy
day, but the show must go on. As your career grows, so will your knowledge,
motivation, and confidence
all-important factors in the persistency arena. So…maybe you don’t have 10
children as your motivation for persistence, but you still need to exemplify
this trait if you are to become a “successful seller.”

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