If there’s a word that embodies top performers in sales, “persistence” is it. I see it all the time: A salesperson runs into rejection and seeks out someone else suffering the same fate to help her wallow in her misfortune. Meanwhile, a top performer seems almost to become energized by the challenges he faces. Fifty percent (or more) of success in selling is in your head. And the best news is we have full control of the attitude we choose to adopt.
Just the other day, a true sales professional recounted one of her most recent sales successes. The opportunity was a $500,000 account—a big deal. After plenty of hours and several months, her prospect chose a competitor for the assignment. Although crushed by the news, this salesperson held fast to the belief that her company was the better fit for the client.
Here’s where the story gets good. She understood that in the early days of a new relationship, after the honeymoon phase has ended, disillusionment often creeps in. So she put into play a strategy which had worked for her in the past. She placed the prospect into her “touch” system and continued to deliver him valuable suggestions and ideas. She didn’t pester him with pitches about her company but brought him valuable suggestions—even though she had not won the account.