By Andrea Mancini, Adecco Canada National Account Executive
Success is all about persistence and doing the right thing for the long term. -Bruce Rauner
In a world where it often feels like all your problems could be solved with one app click, I have found that the formula for success requires more effort and good old-fashioned persistence. Any successful sales champion will tell you that they did not reach the top of their game by hoping for success to knock at their door. Instead, they’ll probably tell you that sales success requires patience, confidence and grit–all qualities that are part of being persistent.
You either have what it takes to make it in sales or you don’t. Why? Because sales requires you to face yourself and your brand every single day—a difficult task when your brand is intangible. Sales also draws on your own innate characteristics. However, while you cannot “teach” sales, you can develop your innate skills and combine it with a positive, persistent attitude, to become a sales champion that is resistant to any economic conditions.
Don’t take it personally
You will hear “no” many times in your pursuit to be a sales champion. The key is to hear it, acknowledge it politely, and remember, it’s not personal. The receiver is not saying “no” to you, they’re just saying “no, not now.” And there could be many reasons why they’ve responded this way. Your job is to persist and find out; why not now. It could be because you haven’t given them a reason to say yes.
Knowledge is power
Understanding a prospective client is fundamental to being able to present them with something they’ll want to say “yes” to. Be persistent and thorough when approaching a sales lead or prospect. Your job is to explore and understand who they are even before you get your foot in the door. What are their objectives, what is new in their world, why would they want to talk to you and allow you in their space?
With the rise of customer sophistication combined with all of your competitors knocking on your client’s door, you need to give them a reason to let you in. You need to persuasively present a compelling value proposition that demonstrates that you understand how you can add value and make it easier for the buyer. Otherwise, you’ll be faced with a literal or figurative “so what?” Until you can answer that question, be persistent.
A useful exercise is to refer back to how you buy. Take the example of buying new shoes. If you go into the shoe store knowing that you need running shoes, but the salesperson keeps showing you a hiking boot, they can describe its benefits all they want—that it’s on sale, made of good quality leather, how fashionable it is—but all you want is someone to point you to the best running shoes, at the best price, so you can run that 5k. Know what your buyer is buying and you’ll be able to anticipate and meet their expectations.
We all know that buyers buy from people they trust. And the way you build trust is to be persistent in communicating your interest in helping your buyer, have the knowledge to back it up, and be yourself. Posturing, “sucking up”, or “buying” your client may work in the short-term, but you may suffer negative consequences in the long-term. Trust your abilities and your main objective to help your client and everything will eventually fall into place..
Grit with a cherry on top
Don’t underestimate the delicate balance of being persistent while remaining kind and professional. In my early years of selling, when I asked my prospects why they agreed to meet with me, they would affectionately comment that it was because “ you wouldn’t stop calling.” I took that as a semi-compliment, interpreting it as: “ you were persistent but not pushy, and I don’t know why but I like you, so now what are you going to do for me?” The art of not being pushy but still commanding attention comes from practice and the confidence that you have done your homework, you know why you want to sell something to a prospect, and, you love the chase!
Persistence is achieved by having an unwavering faith that your efforts are going to translate into a win one day. This requires patience, confidence, and a support system you trust. The process will require practice and possibly even reinvention, but if you stay positive and remain persistent, your goals will be within reach. Happy winning!
As a National Account Executive for Adecco Canada, Andrea Mancini’s primary focus is sales and contract negotiation for medium and large sized organizations. Her diverse background in the staffing industry has positioned her to create holistic solutions for her clients. Her many roles include Recruitment Management, Business Development, Field Manager, and National Sales. For over 10 years, Andrea has created long lasting client relationships by helping companies in the changing world of work. Many of her solutions have included implementing successful Master Vendor programs, creative Permanent Placement initiatives, and Large Volume solutions for employers of choice. As a result, Andrea is a three-time recipient of prestigious sales awards in the staffing industry.
Andrea holds an Honours B.A. in Media Communications from Brock University.