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...