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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Best Characteristic of a Salesman? Bloody Minded Persistence!

My old sales mentor, Phil Copp, the sage of Wythenshawe, used to say that the most important characteristic and the one that leads to success in selling is just bloody minded persistence.  It's that desire and ability never to give up in the face of rejection. 

He used to draw on the example of the Manchester based salesman finding himself in Barnsley on the other side of the Pennines at 4 o'clock on a wet November evening with snow in the air and deciding to make just one more call instead of heading home to home and warmth.   How often is that call successful.

Phil's strictures were brought back to me last week by a reader who commented on an earlier post of mine and it's worthwhile reproducing his message in full.

"Four weeks ago I started in a sales job doing well mostly by perseverance. On Friday with 15 minutes to go, the MD arrived on the sales floor to deliver his weekly pep talk. Unaware of this ritual I picked up the phone to make the last call of the day. I delivered the same pitch I had used all day but this guy said "Yes".   My only "yes" that day.

As I thanked the customer and closed the sale all eyes were on me. I replaced the receiver to a resounding cheer, "There goes Q again, right on cue!!" came the pun from the back of the office.

"A lot of fuss over a 300 quid sale", I thought until it became apparent that my sale had just taken the team over the 20 grand target for the week. Just goes to prove the next call might be THE sale".

What more need I say, other than have a successful week!

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