Don’t Give Up Too Soon

I heard a recent statistic from a Harvard study on successful sales management. In the study (caveat: which I have not seen), it supposedly concluded that a business sale takes 7 meetings on average to close. It also mentioned that the average salesman stops pursuing the sale after 5.4 meetings.  I am not certain what happens to these numbers in this more challenging environment but what it does show is that a) most people give up too early on potential sales and b) sales come from familiarity/trust which takes time and frequency to build. Often, the successful sale today comes from months (or more likely years) of cultivating relationships and staying in front of prospects. So, I'd be curious to see what happens to results if people systematically persisted with two more meetings, on average, when they were about to give up or move onto other prospects. Anyways, another data point on the power of persistence…

One thought on “Don’t Give Up Too Soon

  1. In the early days of my cold-calling efforts I read something similar and have carried it as a reminder since. If a prospect is a good fit for your company’s product, a reconnect on a quarterly basis is a good investment in your pipeline. In the early days at LeftHand, evangelism and periodic (minimum of quarterly) follow ups with all identified contacts within an organization garnered consideration of an emerging technology when our solution would not have not been considered otherwise.

    As important as the reconnection is being able to move the conversation forward through referencing details from previous meetings. Yep, this means good note capturing and actually noting it in a system for easy access. Not a strong suit of the typical sales exec, but key in those longer term sales cycles.

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