Why persistence is key in sales

Written by: James White
So many business people give up on opportunities and actually miss out on sales because they don’t show enough persistence in selling. People say “James I don’t want to appear as being pushy and I worry about being too persistent with people who obviously don’t want to buy my product or service.  
In this blog I am going to share with you why you have to be a bit persistent especially in business to business sales. I am also going to share a short storyy with you on why it’s so important.
The reality is if you’re giving up on those that you provide proposals for or speak to and don’t do the persistence work needed to engage with them, the chances are you’re missing out on opportunities. 
So what are some of the things you’ve got to put in place in order to show persistence but not be seen as a pain in the backside?  
I want to share with you a little story about my brother-in-law who works in the farming industry and he shares a story about how he went to go and visit someone who said “I don’t buy from your company”.  His response back was, “Well I will turn up at your farm in a month’s time because you’re in my patch”. 
The farmer told him he wasn’t interested, but he went back again and the farmer told him to go away and that he still wasn’t interested, he went back another five times.
On the fifth time the farmer said “I thought I told you I wasn’t interested.” The man replied saying “Well I told you I’d still be here and I’m still keen to see if I can work with you and see if I can support you and what you’re looking to do.” The farmer said to him that he had actually been let down by a supplier and asked what the price was and they did business together and is now a loyal customer. 
This happened because he showed persistence and didn’t give up at the first hurdle. 

What are some of the things we can do to show persistence and hopefully get people like the farmer on your side?

You need to make sure that you are a good fit for them. If your service is not a good fit for the person that you work with, then being pushy and persistent with them is not going to get the result you want.  
Make sure that you firstly look and see whether the criteria of the person you’re trying to sell to matches the criteria of your perfect client. If you don’t have this match, it will be more difficult to sell to them. If you think there is a match and that you can solve their problem or desire, then it’s your duty to keep engaging with them. 
Make sure you support them and give them ideas so they can potentially work them you. 
Don’t give up too early and miss out on that potential opportunity.
Give value on a regular basis. What I mean by this is, if you know there’s a certain type of challenge that person will be looking to resolve, then maybe share a resource or guide or a check sheet or a blog that will help them with an issue they want to resolve. 
When you are providing content around areas they are having issues with, as humans its very difficult to continue to ignore that. It’s taken me 9 times to engage with someone – I continued to give them value and talked about solutions that could help them and eventually the person said let’s have a conversation. 
Remember when you are sending an email or connecting with them on social media, focus on them and you want them to think you are helpful and think that you have got their best interests at heart.
I think persistence is key in sales because it shows the person that you will do what you say. 
In the story, the man told the farmer he would be back at a set date and he followed through with this and was there each time. When you give your potential clients that consistency and that assurance that you’re going to do something when you say you will, it builds trust in their mind that you’re someone that can be counted on if they decide to work with you. 
If you say, for example, you’re going to do something then don’t, it then that starts to affect the trust levels that you have with your prospect.  Being persistent and saying you will ring on an exact date and time (and following through with this), shows that you are committed to helping them.
The final point around being persistent in sales relates to what I call your duty as a sales or business person. If they are the right fit for you and you know you can solve their problem then you have a duty as a sales or business person to help them resolve it. 
I’ve worked with an organisation who were helping laundry owners solve massive issues in terms of their gas bills and their chemical bills but the owner had never heard of the company before.  It was their duty to engage with that business owner to talk to them and help them see that there was a way in which they could solve and reduce prices and save a massive amount of money.  
They didn’t just walk away at the first sign of set back. They knew it was their duty to help because not only was their product good for the business but was also brilliant for the environment and was helping to save the planet. They felt it was their passion and duty to keep offering value and keep engaging, eventually the business owner had built up enough trust and started to work with them.
The key thing in sales is if we give up too soon the chances are we are likely to lose that potential opportunity. 
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to be persistent if you’re struggling knowing whether to be persistent or not, or what to do, to approach things then reach out to me on james@thesbsa.com and me or one of my team will happily provide some thoughts advice or even jump on a live session together and can talk through what you are trying to achieve.
Be persistent and do the things that make you happy and also our prospects happy!
Publish date: 6 May 2022

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