How to Become a More Persistent Sales Professional

Discover how to increase your sales productivity by learning how to become a more persistent seller.

April 7, 2014


There's no question about it. In sales, it pays to be persistent, literally. Chances are you've seen the following sales productivity stats:

  • 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
  • 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
  • 12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop
  • Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts

Why do these stats matter?

  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the second contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the third contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

The message here is clear: Sales productivity requires persistence, and most sales reps aren't nearly persistent enough. Fortunately, like most traits, persistence can be improved.

Here are 5 tactics to become more persistent:

Tactic #1: Identify your purpose

It is nearly impossible to maintain persistence if you’re not sure what you’re aiming for. Roadblocks are much easier to overcome if you can visualize your destination on the horizon. Identifying your purpose is simple – just jot down everything you want. Why are these things important to you? What will life be like when these visions come to fruition one month, one year or five years from now?

List everything you want out of your sales career, regardless of how impossible it may seem at this very moment.

Tactic #2: Determine specific action steps

Perhaps you aim to become an authority in your industry – someone buyers recognize as ‘valuable’. To accomplish this, you may want to create a SlideShare presentation or eBook with helpful, prescriptive advice you can publish on your LinkedIn profile and other relevant sites.

This project will require many steps. If you simply say, “I’d like to create a comprehensive SlideShare presentation, or, I’d like to form partnerships with three Fortune 500 companies,” it will never happen because projects like these require pre-planning, time, patience and – most of all – action. Here are a few questions you’ll need to answer to make sure you can achieve your goal:

  • When do I want to accomplish this goal? Is this realistic?
  • What steps do I need to take between now and then to make it happen?
  • When will I schedule these action steps to ensure I hit my goal on time?
  • Where will I go for help if and when I get stuck?

The more specific you are with your action steps, the easier it will be to visualize your goal and attack each step with persistence. It’s similar to working backward to achieve sales goals.

Tactic #3: Positive attitude maintenance

There will no doubt be times when you feel defeated. So if you know this is going to happen, it helps to be prepared for it. Part of maintaining a positive attitude is recognizing early when negative thoughts are affecting your concentration and persistence.

You’ve probably noticed your sales productivity is at its highest when you have a positive attitude and is at its lowest when you don’t. To be continuously persistent in sales – a must for sales success – you must be able to quickly “flip the switch” when negativity invades your mojo. Your sales productivity depends on it.

Tactic #4: Surround yourself with success

We all know a Debbie Downer or a Bernie Bummer. And sometimes they’re family so we don’t have a choice but to deal with them. But when it comes to your career, you can choose who you affiliate with. Aligning yourself with positive, goal-oriented, like-minded professionals can do wonders for your attitude and persistence. Many professionals join mastermind groups for this very reason. If you don’t have time for, or access to, a mastermind group at this time, try starting conversations with LinkedIn group members you can relate to. You’ll find there are many members of LinkedIn groups who enjoy taking the collaborative road to success.

Tactic #5: Discipline

You could spend an entire week mapping out a comprehensive plan to achieve your sales goals. But without discipline and habit, all that planning will be wasted. Entrepreneur contributor James Clear recommends leveraging systems because systems help you stick to a process that ultimately leads to goal achievement.

Maintaining a positive attitude and persistence is easier when you have the sales solutions that enable success. Learn how LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help.