It would be great if people did business on your timetable. If you needed 100 of the right clients to build a successful practice, wouldn’t it be great if you could make 100 phone calls, schedule 100 meetings and open 100 new accounts? We all know life doesn’t work that way. I found being politely persistent can deliver results.
Polite persistence means staying on the prospect’s radar screen without being annoying. We’ve all had the marketer who sends a sales-related email every day until we finally click “Unsubscribe.” Yet we also have experience the opposite in our own lives. When it’s time to busy something or take action, one name comes to mind.
That’s the effect you want to create with prospects. This is a longer term strategy, but it’s employed with many, many prospects. You know if you have enough data points, they often distribute along a bell-shaped curve. (I got a “D” in statistics in college, but I remember that much.) Some prospects will be ready to act on your timetable. Some will never pull the trigger. The vast majority fit within that big bulge in the middle.
Does Polite Persistence Work? Some Success Stories
A California advisor gained a company retirement plan via a phone call he received from a friend. He makes it a standard practice to ask: “Why did you choose me?” The person replied. “You stayed on our radar. You weren’t intrusive. When it was time to make a decision, you were the first name that came to mind.”
It’s always important to let people know what you want. You need to circle back and invite them to do business every so often. The advisor approached a fellow member at his club. The guy said: “I was wondering when you would approach me. Yes, I would like to become a client.” Naturally he asked why he didn’t speak up first. They guy said: “I know all the big people around here work with you. I assumed I was too small. I only have (large number)!”
There’s a cautionary lesson, too. A California advisor befriended a wealthy fellow yet didn’t ask for business. One day, the guy said: “The thing I like best about you is you never ask for business! There’s this other guy. He’s always after me! I finally threw him (very large number) just to get him off my back. Thank goodness you never do that!” I think this advisor changed his approach.
You want to actively stay on the radar of many, many people. It helps keep the pipeline filled. Check out the gallery above for some ways to be politely persistent.