What is the difference between Persistence and Stupidity?

Some people think that Persistence is a sign of strength, courage and stamina.

Often this is true.

Persistence has personally always been one of my strengths, and something that I put high value on.

Early in my sales career, I thought that with persistence and determination, I could outsell my competition.

I decided that I was more persistent than everyone else.

I figured the other guys were just weak and I could easily beat them because I was more determined.

Well turns out I was a bit stupid.

Stupid because sales people are a tough bunch.

A LOT of us are determined. A LOT of us are persistent.

So when everyone is persisting and being determined in the deal, then that factor is no longer an advantage for you.

You gotta get your competitive advantage from something else.

Persistence is important.

You gotta pay attention to the feedback you are getting in a deal though

In fact you have to engineer getting constant feedback into the way you sell.

You have to always be asking for commitments in return for the value you are giving out.

Let’s say that during a sale, a prospect wants to know more about how your customers use your product. You showed them a list of your customers, or they found it on your company’s website, and they saw a customer name in the same industry as they are in.

What do you do first?

Do you say "Yes Sir!" and go find out how that customer uses your product, trotting back like a little dog with a paper in his mouth when you got the answer?

Or do you thank them for asking, inquire about how knowing that will help them, and then listen before committing to the request?

I have found the latter approach much more effective. It gives me a bead on where I stand in the sale, and it exposes reasons that I can use as leverage to ask for something in return.

Asking questions back when other people first ask them of you is not a natural thing for most of us to do. In fact if you do it wrong, you can  come across as really annoying.

I have discovered some elegant ways to do this though, which I cover in the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program. They are easy to do and you can get them here.

The key to being effective here is not to always know what you are talking about, but to always be in control of the sales process. Questioning people back when they question you is one way to stay in control, be persistent, and get high quality feedback while selling.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus