Mr Bennett is one of those rare entertainers whose appeal transcends several generations and music styles. When you look at his work ethic though, it’s no surprise. He’s never given up. But he has never stagnated in one style or one venue like Las Vegas or one method of promotion. He has always been willing to try new things even through a dark period in his career during the 70’s. Tony Bennett recently appeared with Lady Gaga on July 3rd. He is always moving to new venues or new types of music. He's 87 years old, uses Twitter and paints. The man has no “quit” in his soul!
This is a hot topic with my students in our Sandler training classes that we conduct every week. Not Tony’s music but when to accept a no and move on versus the tenacity required to speak to prospects who are hard to track down or just plain rude. What I typically see with salespeople is a brief effort to reach out to prospects. Inevitably, they speak with a few friendly prospects that are polite but don’t say no. They may even experience a few new sales. But the saleperson gives up too easily trying to reach the “hard to track down” prospects after 1 or 2 half-hearted attempts. The salesperson reverts back to talking with the friendly people, convinced that some day they will buy. I’ve had salespeople tell me bluntly that they will keep following up on someone for 2 years because they were sure they would buy eventually! This is the exact mind-set that they needed to change.
Here are the general rules of thumb to properly balance tenacity with “getting a no”:
- Call up to 4 times, leaving a voicemail each time
- Use multiple methods to reach out to people. The phone is great but there are so many other means to reach people now.
- Ask your network to introduce you to specific hard to reach prospects
- Once you speak with a prospect that has no problems that you can fix, stop calling them. No follow up calls or check-ins. Instead, ask them for a referral and add them to your automated drip marketing system like social media or email newsletters.
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