In general, the rule is: Persist when it’s in the prospect’s best interest.
In other words, persist when you recognize that a prospect would benefit significantly from your products or services; don’t harass a prospect that isn’t interested just because you’re desperate for sales.
If you can point to areas in which prospects need assistance, chances are that your urge to persist in order to make the sale are warranted. When prospects have a problem that you can solve, it is probably in their best interest for you to keep talking to them and presenting them with ideas and solutions.
It is also more likely that you will actually make the sale. It is much harder for prospects to deny you an opportunity to explain what it is you can do to help them when you can keep pointing to the areas in which they need help.
If you keep bothering an uninterested prospect that doesn’t need what you have to offer, you not only make a nuisance of yourself, you risk damaging your company’s reputation. You also waste time you could be spending talking to valid prospects.
In addition to the prospect having no real need for your offerings, there may be other indicators that you’ve been barking up the wrong tree. With a wink and a smile, here are some of the more obvious clues that it might be in your best interest to cease to persist:
- You include the prospect in yet another e-mail campaign, and instead of simply unsubscribing, he replies, “Argh!”
- You show up at the prospect’s office for the umpteenth time to drop off your company’s latest marketing materials, and find the receptionist has been traded for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
- The first couple of times you suggest to the prospect that you meet at this or that restaurant for lunch, she claims she’s allergic to the food. The third time you suggest a restaurant, she claims she’s allergic to YOU.
- Your last telephone conversation went like this:
Prospect: Uh, no.
- As a sales manager, you’re chagrined when instead of simply scoring leads as hot, warm, or in need of nurturing, your reps start delivering their lead scoring reports to you in coolers marked: FROZEN.
- You suspect that one or more of your prospects has recently entered the witness protection program.
- You added your mother to your prospects list, and even she has begun sending you straight to voicemail.
Salespeople are used to managers and trainers saying things like, “Don’t take no for an answer.” The truth is that taking no for an answer is sometimes the very best thing you can do. Instead of sweating it out and making call after call and sending e-mail after e-mail to the prospects who’ve been saying no to you for months, or even years, stop beating your brow and start outsourcing your lead generation needs.
One of the reasons Vendere Partners has been so successful is that it has targeted the right prospects, turned them into leads, guided them through the sales funnel, and earned their respect along the way. Don’t diminish yourself or your company by persisting when persistence isn’t warranted. Vendere can do the same thing for your company that it has done internally: win accounts by offering the appropriate services to the people and companies that truly need them. When you do that, no badgering is necessary.