I’m currently helping a ten-strong sales team sell more of a new product, guaranteeing decent run-rate business. Upon launch a few months ago, most of them didn’t manage to sell any to their distributors/resellers, so enthusiasm waned.
I just spoke to one of their guys that finally got success after 6 months of trying. He had this one customer where he thought an opportunity existed. The buyer there never gave him a definitive ‘no’, instead, he kept saying things like “I’ll think about it”, and “I”ve been too busy to do anything on it”.
All the hoops he was given, he jumped through. These included changing packaging, altering pricing structures and creating a bespoke order schedule. And still his passion remained unrewarded by the buyer.
Eventually, he reckoned he got an order (worth roughly £5k to him) because it was the only way the buyer could think of to stop him talking about it! During this 6-month campaign, he had face-to-face conversations 10 times, and spoke on the phone with the buyer a further 20.
It’s precisely this kind of persistence and determination that many sales people forget is required, whether at the start of their career or after many years of quota-busting experience. If you have a product that may need 30 contacts with a prospect about over the next 6 months to sell, and you knew that up-front, wouldn’t you make sure you did what was necessary?