Polite but persistent

Years ago we had a sales rep in Canada, Ying Zhang. She was a middle aged mum pitching contract manufacturing.

I met her largest client for drinks. He told me how he had asked her to leave his office on multiple occasions. “Please stop bothering me, I have vendors for my products. I don’t need another one.”

She emailed him the next day and walked back in the following week with a revised offer. And the week after that. And the week after that. Until he finally relented “just to shut her up.”

Ying was always polite but persistent.

When I reviewed our sales. Most of our clients had taken 6-18 months to come onboard. With at least a dozen calls and emails to get to meetings and then following up with usually 3 or 4 more meetings to land the first deals.

I reviewed a few of our own vendors and found the same thing. Polite but persistent.

Making sales means making it through this buffer zone. It’s rare a sale is made on the first point of contact.

If you’re aware of this you can think of the sales journey as a learning experience. It’s not an all or nothing communication it’s another step in understanding. 

This isn’t a license to be spammy but it is a lesson not to give up on the first rebuttal.

What’s your experience?