There’s probably no single attribute that’s more important in sales than persistence. A persistent salesperson can make up for a lack of charisma, personality, and even intelligence. Persistence levels the playing field, because it’s almost by definition the one trait salespeople need to overcome the difficulties of their job.
The overwhelming majority of people aren’t born with persistence, and must learn how to develop it. It’s usually only after much practice that people see that if they stick with something long enough, their goals will become a reality, like Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness, whose dreams come true through sheer persistence.
But salespeople need to learn persistence just as much as they need to learn their product.
(Our product, Spiro, is an AI-Powered CRM designed to help you be more persistent by automatically reminding you who to call and email at the right times.)
Besides using Spiro, here are some tips that will help salespeople develop more persistence:
1. Set the right expectations
If you go into your sales job assuming that everyone you speak to will be closing a deal, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Understand that it’ll take many contacts, and a lot of work before someone will buy from you. Plan accordingly.
2. Understand your larger goal
Your larger goal is what’ll help get you through the tough times and motivate you to keep pushing. Persistent people know that the hard work they do every day is part of their bigger goals, not just an endless slog into nowhere.
3. Break everything down into daily tasks
Persistent people understand they have to work hard every single day, and setting daily tasks and smaller goals helps accomplish that. If you know you need to prospect for 2 hours every single day, make it a daily requirement and don’t ever skip it.
4. Look at the big picture
Most of us get so bogged down in the day to day and what’s directly in front of us that we forget to take a step back and see the things we do as part of a larger life narrative. Persistence starts to make sense when you think in terms of years instead of weeks.
5. Have a failure plan
Many salespeople aren’t persistent because the moment something goes wrong, they (temporarily) fall apart. If you have a pre-determined plan for what you will do if you fail, then you’ll have a clear roadmap on the immediate actions to take when it does happen. For example, have a plan set that every time a prospect declines a proposal, you will immediately make ten prospecting calls.
6. Use your support system
You are not on an island. Salespeople incorrectly think that we have to go at it alone and support ourselves. In reality, you should have a management team, and a set of coworkers who are going through the same things as you. Use the support system around you. That’s what it’s there for.
7. Practice persistence in sales
Persistence is a skill that can be developed like any other. People develop bad habits they never had, but can also develop good ones too. Practice doing a little more every week to become more persistent. Push yourself further and further, and eventually you’ll be the most persistent salesperson that you know.