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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Is it nagging or persistence?

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There is definitely a fine line between nagging and persistence. Who wasn’t told to stop “nagging” when they were a child? The truth is that children are the very best salespeople. They take the art of persistence, and oftentimes nagging, to impressive levels.

For salespeople, it is instrumental to understand where that line is drawn between persistence and nagging. This requires the ability to recognize when a request or a question is self-serving and doesn’t offer a benefit for the person being queried. Persistence is a good thing. However, to be perceived as persistent, yet not a nag requires the mastery of the following skills.

Respect. Persistent salespeople are very aware of their prospects’ and customers’ time. They respect others’ time constraints and understand that their priorities most likely don’t include listening to lengthy sales pitches.

Value. When reconnecting with someone in a persistent mode, it’s absolutely necessary to have something of value for them. Don’t be tempted to just “follow up” or “check in”. Instead, have information, an invitation, or an introduction to present to them. You’ll be deemed far less self-serving by bringing something of value to their table, and they’ll be far more receptive to your repeated attempts to get them to buy something.

Sensitivity. Knowing when to rein it in is essential. Even though you can’t lose what you don’t have, you can irritate prospective customers so much so that they will nix you from all forms of communication. Once again, respect and consideration are the rule.

The best salespeople are skilled in remaining persistent and not getting discouraged while never crossing the fine line of being a nag or nuisance. Being able to do this is one of the most valuable skills that a sales professional will learn and it requires ongoing practice to refine and master.


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