Let’s tackle the business question for the ages; what makes a great salesperson? Here’s the truth…great salespeople never quit! Can it really be that simple? I say hell yes! The great salesperson is not necessarily the smartest or the best looking or the fastest talking; they don’t all have good hair, great suits or have a degree. Great salespeople simply never give up.

The most recent proof of this comes from research firm Marketing Donut. They surveyed to find how many salespeople followed up after one rejection. That means that they were told NO just once. The number was an astounding 44% just gave up after one NO. Put on your safety belt and crash helmet because it gets worse. They also found that 80% of all sales completed require five follow-ups after the initial contact and only 8% of all salespeople actually follow up five times. The bottom line is that 8% of all sales reps are making 80% of all sales. Crazy!

I’ve always said when you really break it down, it is not hard to be highly successful. For the most part you just have to outlast all of your competition. And really, according to this research, outlasting them is not that hard. After three calls 80% have dropped off the map. So, part of the equation is to never give up on your prospects.

There is another ingredient to the sales success recipe that certainly needs to be added. That ingredient is the persistence factor. I’ve done this demonstration for years. If you have some paper and pen, draw 10 simple stick men across your page and then draw ten down your page. The stick men will represent prospects. Here is my question for you; Which one of these prospects will buy? The answer is obvious that we don’t know. Now, go to your chart and circle two of these stickmen. Let’s say you take the third one on the fifth row, and you circle the eighth one on the tenth row. These little circled dudes represent the prospects who will buy from you. The question now is that if when your goal is to meet goals and make sales, how do you find these two prospects that will buy? The answer is that you have to talk to all of the prospects ahead of number 53 (third one on the fifth row) to find him. Same with finding your other buyer. The key is a killer sales rep will battle through 52 to find number 53 and 97 prospects to find 98.  That takes determination, persistence and a never give up attitude.

Super sales reps get super results because they just outwork everyone else. They’re driven by their goals and commitment to excellence. Customers love to work with salespeople who will work hard to find them, and they’re rewarded by having the privilege to work with them. The rewards go far beyond just winning a new client. When these clients see the effort and drive and fire in the belly attitude that top salespeople exhibit, clients are extremely open to giving referrals to them. One client could mean many more referred clients as a result of the work it took find them. And that is a very powerful return on your time investment!

Now that you have the secret, go to work and sell something.

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