Have you ever wanted something so bad you just laser focused on it and did whatever it took to get that thing? If you have children you experience this on a daily basis. I have a love/hate for this in my children.
I love the fact that they will do whatever it takes to get what they want. They ask again and again, they use sad eyes, they give the reasons why they should have it, they make deals and promises and when the answer is still no, they wait a day or two then bring it up again with a whole new slew of negotiation tactics.
That is the power of persistence. I certainly do my best not to squash this ability of persistence with my kids because they’re going to need it for the rest of their lives. Yes it does get a little annoying at times and sometimes I blurt out the ole stand by “what don’t you understand about NO?”
Persistence is another key element of success. You will never achieve any high level of success without this trait of unbreakable persistence. Don’t lose heart if you lack this trait. Persistence can be trained, it just takes a little time. Most of us have used persistence to get something at least once in our lives. It may have been something as simple as a second dessert from your mom or as difficult as a top position in a company. Either way we all know how to use it when we really want to.
The key in business or sales is to make it a part of the daily routine. It’s the “failure is not an option” mindset. If you’re working a large sale and you’ve been chasing this account for two years and still getting delays should you quit? Should you throw two years of work in the trash just because you haven’t closed the deal yet? I’m thinking probably not. If they’re still talking to you and haven’t given you the definite NO, GO AWAY then you’re still in the game.
What you could do is get busy analyzing why this is taking two plus years to close. I always start that process by looking at myself. There’s a reason I’m not closing the deal. Something I’m missing or not saying. I haven’t delivered enough value to convince them to pull the trigger with me. I take the full responsibility of not getting the deal done. Part of that responsibility is to keep getting better, to learn more, train more, ask more. I never know everything and am always willing to hear from those better than me.
Another good example is fitness. You can’t go to the gym for a week then quit and think you made a difference in your fitness level. It takes consistency right? It takes persistence week after week to achieve results. Once you go for 3 weeks in a row it now becomes a habit. Persistence in your business is the same thing. You need to do it week after week year after year and results start coming every day. You’re working your persistence muscle the more you work it, the stronger and bigger it gets . If you stop working it, it gets small, weak and flabby.
The follow up in the sales process is another area where persistence will pay off huge. Over 80% of sales are made between the 4th and 12th follow up. The problem is only 10% of all sales people make more than 3 follow up calls. The persistent 10% make 90% of all the money. Habitual persistence is a fantastic method for reaching financial success.
As a business owner you have a passion for what you do but the day to day tasks may start to wear you down. Fatigue can make cowards of us all. Focus on a bigger goal and get after it with a ‘failure is not an option’ attitude. Even document what steps you had to go through to achieve that goal to help reinforce your new persistence ability.
If you have a sales team or any team for that matter you need to share the need for persistence as the winning quality for them and your business. Reward persistence with public acknowledgement to encourage others to follow suit. Most of all you need to lead from the front on this and build your ability to be persistent in all things. Nothing good comes easy and you should know that by now if you have been in business for any period of time.
So Start working that persistence muscle on a daily basis. You can’t over train that muscle. it’s a skill you’ll use in everything you do so stay after it. Be persistent in your persistence! ;-)