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Theresa Merrill

Why Do Salespeople Give Up Too Soon?


Successful salespeople are able to bounce back from rejection. They understand that its business, not personal. However, many sellers give up too soon. They take no literally and dont keep pursuing their prospect, whether its for an appointment or securing the deal. If Ive determined an ideal prospect for my business, I dont stop pursuing them until they say Theresa if you dont stop calling meIm going to get a restraining order against you! which has never happened. No is never final in my mind; its just a wake-up call that I havent established value in the prospects mind.

Why are they saying no? 
No is a natural response when you feel you are being contacted by someone who is trying to sell you something.  History has trained us that most salespeople waste our time and provide no value; therefore you stop the process before it before it begins, NO! Clients tell me they dont want to do business with anyone who doesnt fight to earn their business. If someone gives up at the first sign of resistance, its perceived as a lack of resolve. The old axiom winners never quit and quitters never win is true in sales.

How to overcome rejection
Remember the Tony Orlando and Dawn song Knock Three Times? Make this your mantra. Change it to Ask Three Times (at the very least) when gaining commitment. In other words, ignore them when they say no thank you and repeat your request. Dont ask why immediately, either. Just rephrase and repeat.                                                                                                                                                                     

Seller: When would your schedule allow 15 minutes for my presentation?                                             
: Im very busy right now.                                                                                                                 
Seller: Ill be in your area next Tuesday; will you be in your office that afternoon?  Id like to demonstrate how Social media can support your marketing efforts. Always move forward with a valid reason for them to grant you a meeting.
Prospect: No, I will be traveling a lot in the next couple of weeks.
Seller: I understand, why dont we set-up a virtual call then? Acknowledge politely, but keep coming back with options that accommodate their needs. 

I often say I never take no for an answer. If Im trying to book a table, at a hot restaurant for Saturday night, and Im told theyre fully booked, I make a note to call again the Friday before, when reservations are confirmed. If theyre still fully booked, and everyones confirmed, I call again Saturday afternoon or early Saturday evening and I always get in. Same holds true for getting an appointment with a doctor, or securing a hotel reservation. There is always a break through point; all it takes is a little staying power.

Persistence is not to be equated with being a pest. When you hold the line, it demonstrates belief and disciplineyou have a plan and youre committed to it. Youre seen not as a pest, but as someone who obviously feels strongly about their product or companys work. I cant count the number of times new clients revealed that they were going to say yes, but a seller stopped asking too soon. Its a matter of critical mass, either you give up or they give in. People buy you first, or they buy nothing at all.
Theresa Merrill is the Director of Business Development for Anovick Associates. She has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in NY, Boston and Atlanta working for Katz Communications, CBS, Tribune and Cablevision and can be reached at 201.444.2991 or by e-mail

(12/28/2011 8:27:31 PM)
Buddy, I agree that you have to be "persistently valuable", that is a theme throughout all my blogs. When I reach out to a prospective client, I've already done my homework and determined I can provide a solution to their problem; that conviction is what drives me to persist.

- Theresa Merrill
(12/28/2011 1:25:24 PM)
We can all agree that persistence is essential to success in sales, but the example cited above has the trapping of a pest.

Rephrasing your question until you get the answer you want is a self-centered tactic that brings no value to the buyer.

Be persistently valuable.

- Buddy Contreau
(12/28/2011 12:51:58 PM)
Thanks Kevin for your continued support and feedback; keep in mind that the sale is not over until you quit.

Matthew, good point about having nothing to lose; after all 20% of nothing is nothing, right?

- Theresa Merrill
(12/28/2011 8:41:52 AM)
This is really good. I am glad that I am not the only one that feels like a pest sometimes. I will continue to press forward.

Thank you,


- Kevin Carter
(12/28/2011 8:08:37 AM)
Good advice, Theresa. Like you say, persistence is not being a pest; its the measure of hard work and determination. What a lot of salespeople fail to realize is until you have something, you have nothing. Meaning, what is there to lose if you don't have the appointment anyway? If you believe wholeheartedly that your product/service can benefit your prospect, than no one can fault you for working diligently to meet with them.

- Matthew Coleman

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