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Perseverance: the boring but infallible secret to keeping your pipeline full

There’s an old saying: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.’

This is never truer than when we’re calling.

It’s a boring philosophy that many of us dislike, because it involves admitting that you’re going to get failure, rejection, knocks back. Which, frankly, for sales people is a daily reality.

The alternative is that we try to get clever. We try to think of ways to reduce our chances of rejection: we avoid calling at certain times of the day, we spend time scripting our choice of words and intonation, we research potential leads exhaustively before we’ve even contacted them.

None of this is wrong. Indeed, it’s a key part of learning how to make successful calls.

The deadly sin here is when we use these to tactics to avoid actually making the calls.

Sounds familiar? I suspect it’s something that most have us have done at one time or another. And I’m certainly guilty of it.

Experience is a dear teacher, and frankly, there’s no better way than to hone your calling techniques than by actually getting out there and speaking to people.

Just make the calls! There’s no better way to get more leads than by simply doing more of what you know works.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. Calls and contacts must be followed up – and in many cases, followed up far beyond our comfort zone, before they become an order.

One study by Forbes recently suggested that only 27% of enquiries are ever responded to at all. That sounds crazy – but think how many times you’ve put an enquiry through a website and never received a call.

But these are interested people who want to spend money with your company! Go get them!

There’s an old statistic that only 20% of leads ever get followed up. And far fewer ever get followed up more than three times, although this is where the sale is most likely to take place.

Of course, you need to make sure you’re adding value with your follow-ups. You can’t just call to pester the life out of people. But if you can make it work – and frankly, these are people who need your product, right? It’s guaranteed to bring you more revenue, more profit, and help you to hit your sales targets.

So this is next week’s committal: let’s call each and every lead that comes through our front door, and follow it up forensically. Let’s just go out and make these calls, because that, more than anything else, is going to bring us more sales.


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