There are so many people who say selling is a numbers game. And in a way they are right, but it isn’t just about the numbers, it’s about how you deal with each individual number – with each individual.
The successful salesperson will treat each contact with the same respect. Every single person we sell to is a prospect. And they always will be if we believe we can help them. Yes of course, we need to convince them, understand their needs, show them the benefits, but the key to long term success is that you never give up. Never!
I know sales people who tell me “You know x prospect? I can never get hold of them, they’re never going to buy.” or “It’s so difficult dealing with y, I just can’t get across to him.” We all have prospects like these, but the key to success is to understand that a sales prospect moves at their pace, not at ours. Our job is to build the relationship so that when they are ready, they will come to us. And frankly, just because you can’t get hold of someone only means you can’t get hold of them – it doesn’t mean they won’t buy, but it’s funny how your mind plays tricks with you isn’t it?
I always tell salespeople to never cut off their contact as a prospect. Never write them off, always leave your conversation so that the next call to them still has potential to be a step nearer the sale. This doesn’t mean you don’t close on them – but just because they have said no to one close doesn’t mean that they will never buy. “No” just means “not yet”. So don’t end the conversation with a no. Find a new topic of conversation, a new angle to open up and give you a reason to call them. Next time you talk you’ll be a step closer.
They key to this is to always understand that your relationship with each individual is paramount. Your prospect needs to be aware of your absolute conviction that what you are selling will be good for them – if this conviction really is unshakeable, why would you stop calling them? Make your persistence an ongoing joke if necessary, but one where this is shared between you. Your prospect will probably respect you for your sheer persistence, but even more so for the fact that you’ve shown the professionalism to maintain a good relationship with them all the while the prospect has been saying no.
I hope this short piece has remotivated you to look at some of your toughest contacts in a new light.
“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” Bill Bradley
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge
Let me know your thoughts, or even share some of your stories to illustrate how this works for you.