What make a great salesperson? Number one on my list is persistence. Without persistence, nothing else matters much. Calvin Coolidge (my favorite president) once said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts.”
Turning a sales lead into a sale requires persistence. Let me give you one example. Back in the late 60s I was in sales at United Air Lines in New York City. A very successful salesman by the name of Cliff Zabca had been trying to see a major account for months. The man was always too busy. One day Cliff stopped by his prospect’s Midtown office just as the man was about to leave. “Can’t see you now, Cliff. I’ve got to catch a cab to LaGuardia.” Some people would see that as a barrier. Cliff saw it as an opportunity. He accompanied his prospect down the elevator onto the street where he hailed a cab for the man, then jumped in the cab with him. He then had a half-hour of the man’s undivided attention. And, yes, he did make the sale..