Persistence With Buyers
by Dirk Zeller

The key to securing the face-to-face appointment with the Buyer is persistence.  A Champion Agent knows that persistence will create the payoff.

As a child and throughout my high school years, I personally witnessed one of the greatest stories of a salesperson’s persistence.  Many salespeople know the story of Bill Porter because he is a legend of sales.  His story has been profiled in newspapers, books, magazines, and even an Emmy award-winning movie about his life titled “Door to Door”.

Few people can say that they experienced it first hand, though.  You would have been blessed, like I was, to see it first-hand by growing up in an upper-middle class neighborhood on the Westside of Portland, Oregon.  For more than fifteen years I watched Bill Porter come to our door to sell household products in the rain, snow, and summer heat.  He always had a smile on his face, shoes neatly shined, suit and raincoat on, and a glove on one hand to carry his large briefcase up and down the hills of his territory.

Bill Porter’s remarkable journey in life started with a tragic accident at birth that caused cerebral palsy.  His condition affected his speech and his motor skills of walking and using his hands.  He can’t even tie his own shoes or button his shirt, yet there he was everyday, walking several miles each day going door to door to sell his household products for about $1200 a month in income.  His steel will and persistence won over his inability to verbally communicate clearly.  He had his clients write out the orders since he struggled to write legibly.  He would type out the orders one finger at a time on his manual typewriter to ensure his clients received the correct products on time.  Bill Porter is truly a Champion in sales and a Champion of persistence.

There are two areas of persistence.  The first is the willingness to continue to call for days, weeks, and even months until a prospect is ready to move forward in a purchase.  Most Agents quit long before they call a few times.  Be persistent with prospects during your lead follow-up process.  The second and most important area of persistence that only Champion Agents possess is continuing to ask for the appointment on the initial call even in the face of a no from the prospect.   Only a Champion Agent would ask for an appointment multiple times on the same call.

Champion’s Rule:  Ask for the appointment more than once.

Most salespeople quit long before the sale is made or even the appointment is booked.  Salespeople quit when they receive the first “no” or first rejection.

When Salespeople Quit
44%    1st time the prospect says “No”
22%    2nd time the prospect says “No”
14%    3rd time the prospect says “No”
12%    4th time the prospect says “No”

92% of salespeople quit before they acquire the appointment or the order from the customer.  Only 8% of salespeople will ask more than four times.  60% of all sales made or appointments set occur after the prospect has said “no” four times.  The net result is that 8% of Salespeople control 60% of the business . . . just for asking.  Persistence will create the payoff.