Growth Tips: The simple power of persistence

Salespeople need to make six to nine calls to reach a prospect.

March 5, 2014   by ANDREW SHEDDEN

Let’s assume you are an apprentice lumberjack. You are out in the northern Ontario woods learning your trade. You are taught nine swings of the axe should bring down a small tree. You take seven swings but the tree is still standing. But two more swings and it falls.

As it does in lumberjacking, persistence pays when it comes to selling. This is especially true when trying to reach prospects. Your salespeople are almost guaranteeing failure if they’re making one to three calls to reach a prospect and then giving up.

Most prospects require between six and nine contact attempts by salespeople before they can be reached. This means your salespeople will be leaving a lot of voicemail messages. They need to have at least nine fully prepared 15- to 30-second voicemails that discuss the value in having a quick phone conversation.

Remember, the point of the voicemail is to build value and spark enough interest to generate a call-back.

By adding value and variety to voicemails, salespeople won’t be perceived as pests and will get more appointments.

Andrew Shedden is an industrial marketing consultant who helps manufacturing and industrial (B2B) companies increase profitable growth. For free business growth resources visit his website at

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