Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Persistence - The Necessary Quality

"Aww, forget it. I need to talk to someone new."

I've said this to my self before. In retrospect I'm forced to ask myself, how close was I to Earning the Sale? Quite possibly, I was one visit away. Impossible to tell once you've walked away, though.

Last night I made the biggest single sale of my career thus far, earning commissions north of $25,000, assuming that the deal goes through. That's a real feather in my cap. That's half of my last year's income.... How did I do that? Persistence. I stuck with the prospect even when it looked like I'd lost him.

My last visit with this fellow entailed a very difficult time wherein I was forced to explain some previous recommendations and my integrity was called into question - I was on the hot seat! Because I had strong belief in my recommendations in the first place, I was able to convey that belief and stand tall. However, it was a difficult and challenging conversation, and it would have been very easy to simply walk away afterwards, saying: "Aww, forget it."

But I didn't. Which is remarkable, by the way. This prospect is difficult to meet with, as he works very long hours, and our meetings tend to start late at night and last until midnight or so, taking me away from my family. We tend to get off track, as he tends to be a passionate conversationalist, taking charge of the conversation and leading it away from the sale and into other less relevant topics. It's easy to get frustrated as a salesperson during times like this, because one way or another we've got to earn some money. After a number of unproductive meetings that took up more late night time than most would want to give up, it would have been easy to say: "Aww, forget it."

But I didn't.

I didn't because I was already deep into the sales process on another product with this prospect. I didn't because I knew that I was connecting a prospective purchaser with the appropriate product. I didn't because I knew that you need to stick with it until you hear NO.

In order to Earn the Sale, your prospect must like and trust you. This will not happen unless you can be a patient relationship builder. You do this by taking an interest in the prospect, listening to their stories, telling them your own, being there to answer tough questions, and continuing to come back. You do this by being honest with them about the recommendations that you make, and by making appropriate recommendations in the first place.

But ultimately, you do this by being patient and persistent, not pushing the sale, having belief in your products and recommendations, and faith that by doing the right thing, you'll be justly rewarded.

Yesterday was evidence of that.

If you have a story to share about a time that you were persistent and it paid off, I'd love to hear it.

Happy Selling!

No comments: