Persistence Pays off...? Eh, maybe there's a better way

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

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Everyone has heard how you have to be in someone's face at least 7 times before they'll buy from you. Or something like that. The other day I read a story in a business magazine about an advertising salesperson who contacted a prospect 34 times before clinching the sale on call 35. The salesperson gleefully described how the prospect became more and more irritated with her as the calls continued, eventually asking her (that's putting it mildly) to leave her alone and never call again. Undeterred, the ad sales babe made that 35th call... and got the sale.

A sign of a good salesperson? Maybe. But maybe not.

Why on earth is it necessary to badger someone 34 times (or even 7) in order to spark interest in a service or product? Could it be that the product or service isn't all that compelling, or egads, the sales pitch sucks? If I call someone once, pitch ‘em and they turn me away... and I call them again, pitch ‘em and get turned away again and then do it again... and again... with the same (although increasingly hostile) result... might that not mean that I'm doing something WRONG? Why on earth would I continue to something that clearly isn't working?

Let's compound the insult. I do this all day long to my entire database of prospects. Day after day. Rejection after rejection. Every once in awhile I score a YES, which supposedly makes all those rejections worth the effort. But, but, but... has no one ever considered the possibility that all these rejections might be trying to tell me something?

Doing something that doesn't work very well enough times that someone finally succumbs to the pitch doesn't sound professional (or very efficient) to me. Maybe it's time to toss that old marketing clichés out the window and come up with a new paradigm! If something ain't good enough to work the first time, maybe it's just not good enough!

So, is there something you're doing over and over and over... without much result, but assuming that your persistence will eventually be rewarded? Maybe it's time to rethink that approach...

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
2,870,414
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Jennifer, isn't that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.  Maybe it's not working because it is not compelling enough or maybe the person is simply not in the market for what is being offered.  Let's face it - not everyone will be a "yes."  Some sales people just like the grind (I guess).  Thanks for your post - make it a great week.

Jul 06, 2009 02:57 AM #1
Ambassador
1,281,977
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Jennifer - Stories like that bug me, too.  I always wonder if it's just an urban legend, or amplified in some manner.  I can't conceive of contacting anyone that many times after being rejected repeatedly.

Jul 06, 2009 02:58 AM #2
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Kathleen - Seems that way to me... I wrote a blog last year called "STOP the Insanity - If something's not working, try something ELSE!" If something isn't producing the desired results, it doesn't necessarily mean you should do more of it...

Jason - I agree - but so many people swear by it, it must be real...

Jul 06, 2009 03:02 AM #3
Ambassador
687,290
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I do get tired of being told that you gotta love to hear no.......that it brings you one more closer to a yes.

There's gotta be a better way.  I'm excited about your new book!

Jul 06, 2009 03:40 AM #4
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

BLECH! I can't believe people say that with a straight face, although I have to admit, I haven't tried it. Maybe it IS fun???

I'm excited about the book, too...

Jul 06, 2009 04:43 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,349,175
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Mmmm...good questions!    In this shift mode from an agent centred to a consumer centric world, it means standard biz options that used to work are no longer the way to go.    Needs new ideas.    Irritating a person into acting isn't the answer.

Jul 06, 2009 05:11 AM #6
Ambassador
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Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Jennifer- To each his own. Better be careful with these words as people seem to love to attack these posts, LOL!

I think this is such a waste of time. We can always make more money but we can never make more time. The time you take getting to that one YES is time you could be getting people to come to you and ask you to be their agent.

Jul 06, 2009 05:29 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,027,150
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

While we are beating up that poor, hapless prospect, aren't there a ton of receptive prospects getting away? 

I'll have THOSE, please.  ;-)

Jul 06, 2009 06:53 AM #8
Rainmaker
717,806
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Jennifer,

I agree - how on earth is this productive? I've always wondered how anyone could think that this makes sense from any practical perspective.  I'm with Katerina on this one.  The sheer brute force and TIME involved makes no sense to me.  Also, since when is it productive to make yourself AND your prospect miserable all in one shot?

My Grandfather was supposed to be a wonderful salesman.  He was retired by the time i came along...but I remember that he had the power to persuade.  However, I can't imagine that he would butt heads with someone 34 times forcing himself into a transaction.  He was far too polite and genuine for that...which was in good part why he was so successful. People actually WANTED to talk to him. If I saw someone who had tried to capture me 33 times - I'd be running the other way as fast as I could.

Jul 06, 2009 08:26 AM #9
Rainmaker
186,701
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

OK all I want to know is...who told my 8-year-old this "trick" that you should try to sell someone (read: your mom) on something (read: staying up late) over and over and over again and never take "no" for an answer, no matter how many times it takes!!!!  Now we're both miserable, thank you very much!

(Love your genuineness, Jennifer.)

Jul 06, 2009 01:48 PM #10
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Tanya - A future salesperson in your house, eh?

Ruthmarie - I was hoping you'd comment! I figured this would appeal to you.

Susan - Me, too! The ones who actually start out liking me.

Katerina - I'm a little bummed no one came on to dispute my grasp of the obvious (IMHO)

S2S - I love it! Irritating into Action. Blech!

Jul 06, 2009 11:52 PM #11
Rainmaker
717,806
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Actually - where is the loud dissenting chorus??? WOW!  I've been waiting - checking back - hoping for the fireworks to begin.  I agree Jennifer - bummer.  And you had such great "bait" too!

Jul 07, 2009 06:35 AM #12
Ambassador
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Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Jennifer, I don't think you waited long enough before posting your next post to garner the dissent  to your philosophy:) Oh well, you live to do it another day LOL!

Jul 08, 2009 11:28 AM #13
Rainmaker
813,370
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Jennifer - Very well put.  I have the problem of just getting something going to begin with in order to see if it works.  I think once I had something, I would be able to tell if it was working rather quickly, and be able to make adjustments along the way.  I just need to get something started to begin with.

Jul 21, 2009 05:50 PM #14
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