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Posts Tagged ‘persistence’

Persistence or relentlessness?

August 30th, 2013 No comments

“To tell you the truth,” said the company president, “the only reason I agreed to take your call is because you’ve been relentless.”

This was a gruff, hard-to-reach guy who I was calling to help out an old client. He was known to deal with programming code better than with people. Within fifteen minutes he had done everything I needed from him.

He also reminded me of something I had started to forget about persistence.

Before the big-shot company president took my call, I left a total of three–count them, three–messages with his receptionist. This was hardly a Herculean effort, but to his mind, I had been “relentless.” He isn’t used to someone making three attempts to reach him. This was such unusual behavior that he considered it relentlessness.

What this tells me is that most people give up after the first call.

I’m lazy, but it seems that most people are lazier than me. And this means you’ve got yet another reason to do what you already know you should.

If you’re in marketing, sales, or really any profession in which you have to get other people to do things, you can easily place yourself above your rivals. Just keep going. Be persistent. It seems that most people won’t do this.

You’ve probably heard the statistic that it takes seven contacts to make a sale. I don’t know of any actual research to back this up, but it’s a good principal. Back in my freelancing days, it was normal to do business with a client after sometimes a year or two of calls, postcards, and email. Most of my competitors gave up before they were even tired, and soon I would be the only one left.

You know that persistence pays off, even if you don’t yet know it in the core of your being, even if it’s not yet tattooed on the inside of your medulla oblongata. You’ve heard people say it enough. Get the tattoo.

The lesson I’m trying to give you here is that it doesn’t always take as much persistence as you’d think. Just be persistent once or twice, and you’ll soon be labelled “relentless.”

Relentlessness gets things done. Relentlessness is persistence that talks.

Be relentless.

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The Bright Side of Entitlement

August 29th, 2013 No comments

It’s easy to bash them. People who feel like they’re entitled to something get a bad rap.

But I think they’ve got a bright career ahead of them.

When you feel down in the core of your being that people owe you something, you’ll be able to ask for it with conviction every time. And you won’t take “no” for an answer.

Napoleon Hill wrote a story about this in his famous book, Think and Grow Rich.  A young black girl had to ask a white man for fifty cents. This was in the South, in the days of Jim Crow laws and other injustices. The man repeatedly told the girl to leave, but she persisted. Finally he threatened her with violence, but just before he struck the blow she looked in his eyes and shouted, “MY MAMMY’S GOTTA HAVE THAT FIFTY CENTS!” (Hill uses all capital letters in this story)

The man was defeated by the little girl’s conviction and will power. He handed over the money and left her alone.

Chutzpah always wins. And it can be cultivated.

Think of the guy sitting on the sidewalk with a paper cup and a cardboard box, asking you for spare change. You’re getting something for your money. A smile, good karma, the feeling you helped someone, or at least the peace of this guy leaving you alone once you pay up.

He talks to hundreds of people a day. He faces rejection more than a dozen times every hour. Yet he persists. I’ve had people follow me down the street just to get a quarter. The clever ones have an answer to every objection I raise.

This is excellent sales training.

But the real secret, I think, is that some people truly believe you owe them. They have a right to your money. They are entitled to it. This belief can make you rich.

If you just can’t psych yourself up to feel entitled to something, Zig Ziglar offers another way. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically he said, “I’ve got your product here in my car, you’ve got my money in your pocket, and I ain’t leaving until you get your product and I get my money!”

This is actually an essential attitude if you’re in sales, or really if you own any kind of business at all. If you believe the person is entitled to your product, and you demand reasonable compensation for it, then you’re unstoppable.

If I ever need to hire and train a salesman, I might start looking in skid row.

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