13. What is the key to persistence?
Customers resist even the best ideas. The resistance starts with a negative feeling about the product, service or program. He or she hasn’t looked into it yet. The immediate resistance is general. First of all, there’s the risk. What if the idea doesn’t pay off or the product doesn’t perform?
Also, something new means change. And maybe the change will be uncomfortable. It will cause trouble, and who needs trouble?
All this makes the prospect feel that they don’t want to hear about what you are trying to sell. Even if you get them to listen, their generalized resistance adds strength to the objection.
Your customer will be on the defensive before you even begin to sell. It is in a person’s nature to fear making a change that will cost money. During a sales presentation, your customer will almost always respond negatively to your pricing. It is part of their strategy to get you to lower your price.
By knowing what to expect you avoid giving in without making a case for your product. Salespeople frequently make the mistake of offering discounts up front in order to head off a potentially negative discussion about price.
A sales manager I worked for insisted that I call on a certain account every week even though it seemed hopeless to ever sell them. On the very first call the customer tore my business card up in little pieces. The customer had a problem with a previous sales person. The sales person had left the company with a grudge and had left several things undone. This particular customer had several special orders for a banquet. The day the product was due for delivery the customer found out that the sales person had quit and never turned in the order. However, I followed orders and finally, after 37 weeks of calls, he gave in and bought something from me. If it had been up to me I never would have done it, however, the boss followed up and asked me every week if I made the call.
Have the necessary persistence to overcome their resistance and plan to outlast the competition. You have the knowledge of knowing you can turn them into a customer as long as you stay with it.
Do you have persistence? Take the test to see how much persistence you have. Ask yourself this one question - what is your biggest accomplishment and how long did it take to accomplish it? If you have a major accomplishment that took you over THREE YEARS - welcome to the club.