Are You a Pushy or Persistent Salesperson?

BY Rachel Cagle
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Think about your interactions with sales reps in your personal life. When you answer the phone and it’s a telemarketer, you probably feel a sense of dread. Why is that? Because you expect them to be one of the pushy salespeople they're worried about instead of a respectfully persistent salesperson. 

Like it or not, most people see sales as an industry overflowing with pushy salespeople, says Leslie Ye, writing for HubSpot. “Persistence is part of being a salesperson,” says Ye. “In fact, 80% of sales require five or more follow-​ups.” So, how can you be a persistent salesperson without crossing the line into pushy?

How to be a Persistent Salesperson Instead of a Pushy One

Include Updates in Your Outreach

You should always have something new to say to your prospective clients in your emails or calls. Giving a prospect more information on your product or service with each outreach attempt makes the messages useful to them. If your messages are only asking if they have received your previous emails or calls, or something along those lines, all you are doing is annoying the prospect. Well, you are also giving them more reasons to not return your emails or calls. In short, pushy salespeople's outreach is centered on, "Hey, remember me?! Answer me!" messages. The persistent salesperson is always offering new value with each of their outreach attempts. Which are you right now?

The Product Shouldn’t be in the Spotlight

Pushy salespeople overload prospects with talk of their product or service without connecting how those features could benefit the prospect's business specifically. That leaves the prospect to piece together how it would be a good investment for their business on their own. Doing that isn't their job; it's yours. Seeing how your product or service could benefit them should be easy for the prospect. If it isn't, they may look for a solution elsewhere instead of trying to connect the dots themselves.

A pleasantly persistent salesperson leads with the benefits their product or service can provide to the prospect’s company specifically. They show that they have done their research by showcasing their knowledge of the business and how the solution they are selling can help the prospect reach their own goals. So, you need to be forward and be sure that you are putting your prospect’s needs first. 

Bow Out with Grace

As hard as you try and as perfect as your product or service may be, sometimes you simply won’t be able to make the sale. Instead of flooding the prospect’s inbox and answering machine with more messages with reasons why they should reconsider, you need to learn when to bow out. “At some point in most closed-​lost deals, it becomes apparent that there's no more you can do, and continuing to pester a prospect will leave a bad taste in their mouths,” says Ye. If you want the chance to attempt a sale with them again, thank the prospect and end your attempts with grace. You’ll get more out of your time by dedicating it to another prospect.