Steve Martin (not the comedian), in research for one of his excellent books on selling, did research on persistence. He found “Less than 10 percent of top salespeople were classified as having high levels of discouragement and being frequently overwhelmed with sadness. Conversely, 90 percent were categorized as experiencing infrequent or only occasional sadness.”
Persistence is a topic that too often does not find its way into the sales training course. We tend to get too busy with product knowledge, prospecting, asking questions, presenting and closing sales. But without a high degree of sales persistence you will never achieve your goals; personal, professional or financial. In our company’s sales training sessions we routinely talk about hard fought battles and what it took to overcome and win.
If you want to be in that top 90 percent, do not quit selling:
- Until your prospect’s check is in your competitor’s bank account. And then look for other opportunities in the account.
- Even after weeks or months of limited or no sales success. If you continually do the right things, with the right product, you will make sales. Guaranteed.
- When your prospect says, “Don’t call us for a while,” ask what will be different then.
- When they have thrown every objection and stall in the book at you. Visualize those objections and stalls as bullets bouncing off your chest.
Every single day you must work to separate yourself from the average sales person. Every day you have a new chance to succeed and be an excellent, professional salesperson. It isn’t easy. But when things aren’t going your way, you must persevere and make that next call. You must get back up and swing again and again and again. You must:
- Deliver over and over again. Every day.
To be a homerun hitter in sales you can never give up and feel sorry for yourself. Period. There is no crying in baseball and there is no crying in sales.
Sales Homework – List five professional selling activities you do persistently. If you can’t think of five, now is a great time to create them and put them into practice.
Sales Managers – Coach your team to persevere and have resilience. This is what coaching is all about – bringing out the best in every one of your players. If they’re down help them up. And then kick 'em in the butt to get them going again.