To see how persistence pays off check out this real story that happened to me a couple years ago but continues to today. I was assigned a list of prospect accounts and I sell Telecommunication solutions so I decided I would work to meet the most senior IT person possible. Using LinkedIn I was able to identify the VP IT who had a long and successful career including at one point being a very senior executive with one of my major competitors. Watch the short 1 minute video to see how well my efforts to meet went (and enjoy the music – you will see in the video why I chose it!!)
About a month after the movie, I received an email from one of his staff inviting me to come over for a meeting to discuss a major project they were going to informally take to the broader market. We worked very hard on our proposal but ultimately came in second.
Here is where the Persistence Pays Off
At the end of a project planning meeting at the customers offices I needed a ‘comfort’ break before leaving. As I entered the washroom, the VP was exiting. He held the door open and very simply stated “Thank you for you professionalism and persistence; I finally let you in the door but now you have to win on your merits!”
I was blown away by this. Even though he almost never responded to most of my reach outs, I always tried to include something of value like a white paper or great article online that might be of interest to golf or movie tickets. What I realized was that I was actually building a relationship and he was simply waiting for the right time for him to bring me in.
About 2 months after we were advised we lost the big project, I received a call from another one of his staff asking me to come over for a meeting about another of our offers. What had happened is we had shown another solution as an option on our bid submission and they really liked it. The successful bidder did not have this solution so we worked out a proposal. In our discussions and proposal for that very specific solution which was relatively low cost we included one other option that was congruent with our main solution. In the last 14 months we have developed a revenue stream from this company of close to $60,000 monthly and are now discussing multiple other opportunities.
- Prospecting like Closing requires incredible patience and persistence. You should never treat prospecting as a ‘one and done’ event but rather a process unto itself.
- Work very hard to include real value every time you ‘touch’ a prospect or customer! You want them to want to hear from you or see you.
- When you submit quotes or proposals or bids be sure to be laser focused on quoting exactly what the customer wants but be sure to add options where they make sense and either align or are coherent with the main proposal offer.
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