Early on in my sales career, there was a prospect that I was determined to close. Everyone on my sales team had tried to gain access to this decision maker, and some had gotten as far a conversation, but it never evolved from there. When my manager suggested I try to approach this target prospect, I eagerly accepted the challenge. In my head, I confidently thought, “I can make this happen.” Ha!
I spent months calling, dropping by, leaving voicemails, and sending emails. I never managed to get through to anyone, but I remained persistent and didn’t give up until one day I was told not so politely to go away.
Often during my career, I have reflected on that cringe-worthy experience. I had been persistent (outright annoying), and at the time, I had truly thought that persistence alone should get me in the door. As I began to develop and grow as a salesperson, I began to see the power of not just being persistent, but being persistent with a purpose. I learned the importance of earning trust and offering value to the prospect. Unfortunately, I had to experience some tough lessons before I got to this point.