In the Dr. Seuss classic, Green Eggs and Ham, Sam-I Am teaches us a huge lesson about asking. As kids, we intrinsically ask and ask and ask. Most kids do eventually get-or they get a lot more than they would if it was up to us parents. As adults, we tend to forget that the best sales people ask for the business, and follow up many times.
In the book, Sam asks for the “sale” at least 14 times! The sale is in this case is getting the individual to eat green eggs and ham. Unlike our clients who actually want to buy a house, this client HATES the product-so Sam has the toughest of sales. But Sam believes in his product, and just knows that if the individual will try it, they will like it. How often do we get a call from a client, call back once, maybe twice, leaving messages and then forget about the client because we did not get immediate gratification? Follow up is key to success. The funniest part of the book to me is that after asking 11 times, and being told emphatically “NO” 11 times, Sam asks quizzically, “You do not like green eggs and ham?” as if this is news to him. It is as if he does not even hear the objections but keeps on with the sale. In the end, the individual tries it just to get Sam off his back, and discovers that he likes it and will eat them anywhere.
Now I am not suggesting we harass people to the point of annoyance. But if you do not get the occasional, “Leave me alone” then you are missing out on a lot of business. 80% of people need to hear something 5 times before they buy. 10% will never buy, and 10% will get annoyed at you by the 5th time. So if you do not hear the occasional person complain, you miss out on 80% of your business because you did not take it out to 5 times. This may be uncomfortable for you, but you need to break through this comfort zone or delegate the task of following up to someone that will do it for you.