Attacking is deftly persisting through every challenge coming your sales way without losing your enthusiasm. And persistence is an admirable quality-even to those who do not manifest it.

While attending a funeral out of town last Friday, I was reminded of the importance of persistence to successful selling.

Several hawkers were present, each selling  the same wares- biscuits, soda, water and groundnuts. Unlike the rest, this particular one went beyond inviting me to buy his wares. He first teased me with the idea of selling me this dog because, “You people of Nairobi have issues with security.” He went on: “This dog is hardy. It’s cheap to maintain too. It doesn’t need any special food and will eat even ugali.” The joke was that it was a police dog and part of the patrol at the funeral.

Top of mind

Later, as I was passing by he called out to remind me that, “My water still awaits me. Could he open it now that it is was this hot?” Forget that I had not even suggested interest in buying water, let alone laying claim to any.  And this invite to buy this or that would continue with unabated enthusiasm, every time he would see me. As he did this, the other sellers were spectating entertained. Unbeknownst to them, this hawker had become top of mind when I decided to buy. His persistence was that infectious.

To use football parlance, selling is attacking not defending; a sale is pushed through to gathering traction before it comes through of its volition. Attacking is not bulldozing which will only serve to irritate the buyer. Attacking is deftly persisting through every challenge coming your sales way without losing your enthusiasm. And persistence is an admirable quality-even to those who do not manifest it. That is why the other hawkers were spectating as their colleague continually attempted to get me to buy. Of course, there were those who would not do that because they ran the risk of looking foolish especially if I didn’t buy. Truly it is hunger that separates (sales) men from boys.

Why some don’t persist

And that attitude is fine-for those who are fine with the mediocre results it yields.  It’s true you may face rejection. What is also true is that, that comes with the territory. In any case, whereas I may not buy now, I have filed you in my mind as the go to person when the time comes to do so. That is why experienced sellers will tell you of buyers who call them months, even years later asking to buy then. And why?  They were left in your thrall because you always kept them updated of the latest changes in your product and how they can benefit. Or, you continually, sent them links to information their business could benefit from. You were in their face without being a nuisance, making you a natural choice for purchase when the time came.  If you hadn’t persisted, very likely the sale could have gone to the seller who happened to be there at the time the buyer wanted to buy. In other words, he would have reaped where you sowed.


Check out our short courses and other services here. Or, if you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 404

About Author

Related posts

The sales odyssey: Lessons in persistence. The Paul Kinuthia story

Persistence and the art of connecting the dots pave the path to your success in selling. They are cornerstones of the sales odyssey; the sales journey. Here are two compelling stories that demonstrate this—one of unwavering persistence and another of methodical dot-connecting. The stories illuminate the essence of thriving in the competitive realm of sales.

Read More

Boost sales: see salespeople as points of contact not those that sell

Dear employer, especially this December, remember that the salesperson isn’t one who merely sells the product or service. That’s an archaic way of defining the profession. The world has dramatically moved from the days when the only source of digital information for Kenyans was VoK. The 21st C prospects have become wiser and the market

Read More

Why most people quit sales is as simple as it’s not. Here’s why

The percentage of sales people that quit must be highest for any profession. Put differently, the profession with the highest turnover is Sales. And there’s reason why most people quit Sales. It is difficult to see a compelling tomorrow when you cannot raise your eyes away from a trying today. This is the predicament that those

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.