Recently I received a phone call from a salesperson I’ve known and have worked with for a number of years.
The voice on the phone was ecstatic. He was telling me of a new customer he had just landed. Knowing the person’s business, I was surprised he was calling me regarding the landing of a single customer.
He shared with me what made this new customer special was that his first conversation with the prospect was nearly 10 years earlier.
Now, that had my attention.
The salesperson said how it took him 10 years to land the customer, but it was worth it. The customer was big and the expected revenue was going to be substantial, not just on the initial order, but on-going.
I couldn’t help but ask him if he at any time thought about throwing in the towel on the prospect. Let’s get real — 10 years to make a decision does seem a little bit excessive. He thought about walking away on a number of occasions, but he then realized the sales process he was using with them didn’t require much effort, as he was able to replicate what he was doing for other prospects.
He knew if he stayed in touch on a regular basis via email and other tools, the prospect one day would become a customer.
He knew that somewhere along the way, the prospect would realize what his company had to offer was of value to them and could make a difference.
Sure, we can make all kinds of arguments about how the sales process maybe wasn’t aggressive enough, but the point I like is the salesperson never gave up. To me that is huge, as that tells me when we’re out there prospecting and feeling we may not be making a difference, we may very well be making a huge difference.
Lesson for me is to not give up and to never forget the next big sale might just come with the next call on that prospect you’ve been chasing for years.
Success not always in pre-established timeframes. We have to be ready for success, and the customer has to know we’re ready to help them succeed as well.
Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.