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Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, author, and sales leader. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

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The Fifth Time You Hear No

alt text image of the number 5

The salesperson’s email was targeted to me directly. Clearly, someone had done enough research to know I am a speaker, and that I might benefit from their product. The product was fine, and a lot of speakers will find it valuable. It is not valuable to me right now because I have something that does what this product does in a way that I like better.

Out of courtesy, I explained that I was not interested at this time, as I am satisfied with what I am using. (I hope this rings a familiar bell for you.)

The salesperson sent a note suggesting that his product is better than what I am using, and it very well may be, but I am still not moving.

A few days later, the salesperson sent me an email to tell me that I was either uninterested or too busy, so if he didn’t hear from me, he would remove me from his contact list.

Ultimately, You Have No Power

When you are pursuing a prospective client, you don’t have the power to issue an ultimatum. You can’t say, “If I don’t hear from you, I will remove you from my contact list.” You will have many prospects who accept your offer.

If you know someone is a prospect, and if you know you can create value for them, you need to invest in the relationship. Instead of straight pitching, do some value-creating first. Make some deposits in the relationship. Make it easier to say “yes” to a conversation to explore change.

There is no reason to ever demonstrate to a prospective client how easily discouraged you are and how quickly you give up. No one wants to work with someone who quits at the first sign of resistance. We want to work with people with intestinal fortitude, determined people who persist and succeed.

You should never expect a “yes” on the first ask. The first “no” is free. Your prospect gives that “no” to everyone. The fifth “no,” now that’s interesting. Not a lot of people get a fifth “no,” because not a lot of people are persistent enough to ask five times. Mostly they go away after being told “no” one or two times.

The fifth time you hear “no,” you are being persistent. And persistence is one attribute you need to be a good salesperson. There are 8 more attributes here.

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