Fresh ways to stay persistent in sales

by Shannon F.

You’re probably sick of hearing about the importance of resilience, persistence, and staying motivated. The best salespeople are incredibly tenacious and are able to deflect the day-to-day negative feedback that pretty much everyone in this field faces. They may think they don’t need to fine-tune their attitudes to rejection or receive regular pep talks. The truth is, most salespeople need encouragement on a regular basis, even if it comes from within. Here are our suggestions for remaining persistent no matter what.

Remind yourself that 80% of sales are made on the 5th through 12th attempt. It’s true. If you are getting a little frustrated with a prospect who isn’t returning your calls, remind yourself that it could take as many as 12 calls to set the appointment that gets you the deal. Be patient, and remember that 90% of sales reps make only three attempts or fewer. (You could even print the inspiring chart, above.)

Complain for a little…and then stop.  Positive thinking is important, but sometimes the one thing that inspires you to keep going is having the opportunity to vent (briefly). If a prospect is ignoring your calls or has treated you horrendously, it’s okay to seek the empathy of others on your team. Feeling heard, and getting your anger out of your system, can energize you and give you the strength you need to move forward. But don’t complain about every little thing or dwell too much on a bad experience. Complaining only has value for as long as it takes to get resounding “yeahs” from your coworkers.

Try to beat your goal, just for fun.  Your manager set a reasonable goal for you – but why not set your own, slightly higher goal and give yourself a reward if you reach it? By challenging yourself, you’ll feel more in control of your performance. And promising yourself a present, like a weekend of fun or that new (insert item here) you’ve been coveting, will help you keep your resolve even on tough days.

Pick a “sponsor.” Sales may not be a 12-step program, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need someone you can call whenever you are slipping into a cycle of negative thinking. It could be someone in your company or any friend who understands what it’s like to have a rejection-heavy job. Either way, make a commitment to supporting each other when the going gets tough, and hold each other accountable. A good “sponsor” will let you know when you’re whining too much and will give you the push you need.

Remind yourself of past successes. If you have to write your biggest deals on sticky notes and post them around your desk, do it. When you’re having a week where you’ve lost a client, you haven’t closed any deals, and your prospects don’t seem to want to talk to you, it’s easy to feel like a failure. It’s important to remember that you have what it takes to be successful, even if this is the worst week of your life. It might help to keep calendars of deals lost and won, so you can look back on them and remind yourself that sales is cyclical – good times will come again if you persevere.

Every sales rep has a story about a time he or she won a deal after incredible persistence. It’s part of the job, but everyone needs to be reminded now and again that tenacity is the key to success.

Have you closed one of your top deals for 2014 using a Wendover lead? You may be a contender for our 2014 Sales Stars Contest. Visit the contest’s official rules page to learn more.

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