You know how it is: you pick up the phone to call a prospect, or you send a beautifully-polished email to a potential lead, but you experience a less than desirable outcome. Your sales call falls on deaf ears and you hear “not right now”, or your email doesn’t even trigger a response.

At times like these, it can be tempting to put a line through the prospect’s name on your hit list and move on to the next target. But by doing so you are potentially leaving money on the table for your competition to grab.

Lacking persistence is one of three key sales mistakes (number three, in fact) that I frequently see business owners making – and it’s actually a mistake that can have bigger repercussions. That’s because repeated knockbacks can lead to you feeling downhearted, frustrated and as if you’ve failed at the first hurdle.

It’s for this reason that it is crucial you have a multiple contact strategy i.e. a strategy that sees you contacting a prospect on multiple occasions – even if you experience a knockback at the start.

Crossing the Atlantic because of persistence

Let me give you an example of why this is so crucial. About 10 years ago, I was sent a cold email inviting me to a conference in the United States. I immediately dismissed it right off the bat because of the associated costs e.g. flights, a hotel, expenses, etc. I then received another email about the same conference. My interest was piqued slightly. This was then followed up by a direct mail (snail mail letter), a postcard and a telephone call.

All of these interactions were designed to highlight to me how valuable the conference would be. They worked! The end result was that I attended the conference. I even took my husband with me, which meant all the expenses were doubled.

The moral here is that had the company who reached out to me given up after the first email, they wouldn’t have secured my business. But by adopting a multiple contact strategy and highlighting the value in their offering, they successfully closed the deal.

And it’s all supported by research

Research shows that just 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact, with the vast majority coming between the 5th and 12th contact. Furthermore, on average, it takes around five approaches before you even secure your first meeting. So don’t stop at two or three

Remember: If you don’t give up at the first hurdle and you have a multiple contact strategy, you’ll inevitably generate meaningful discussions with people who want to buy your products or employ your services – and that’s exactly what you want, right!?

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