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Perseverance and Yourself

“The wind-footed steed is broken down in his speed, whilst the camel-driver jobs on with his beast to the end of his journey.”

- Sa’Di, Gulistan (1258)

Perseverance does not apply only to individual clients but the function of being in sales. Being a successful salesperson does not happen overnight and sales do not just fall into people’s laps. They take effort and perseverance – something that many find difficult to maintain during tough quarters or slow economic times.

Some examples of perseverance…

·          It took Walt Disney sixteen years to convince the author of Mary Poppins to turn her book into a motion picture.

·          Automotive pioneer Henry Ford declared bankruptcy twice in his first few years in the business.

·          When Bill Gates first announced Windows in 1983, it was met with widespread criticism and was predicted to fail.

Think about those examples of perseverance and what became of three great men who battled against obstacles to reach success. One man became synonymous with family entertainment and animation and turned a popular book into a classic movie. Another built his reputation on what became one of the most successful and affordable cars for the working man, the Model T. The third built the strongest software company in history and is one of the richest men in the world, estimated (in May of 2004) to be worth approximately thirty billion dollars.  That’s enough to buy 192 Boeing 747s. 

So, as we think about the obstacles and roadblocks we all face in sales and in our personal lives, it is important to do two things:

1.       Keep fighting – Have you heard about Winston Churchill’s commencement speech to a graduating class of Harvard? Churchill strolled confidently to the podium, assessed his audience and briefly and succinctly stated, “Never, ever, ever, ever give up.” He then turned around and sat back down. Failure to persevere in sales is deadly. Sales can be a tough business for those who aren’t willing to keep plugging away. Slow months come and go. You may struggle one month and smash your quota the next. Only by continuing to fight will you succeed in what you do.

2.       Keep learning – If you keep doing the same old thing over and over again, even in the face of failure or just average results, then you won’t ever reach your goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re a superstar salesman who regularly attends sales “club” trips or if you are struggling to make your numbers, it is imperative you keep learning.  Learn about new sales techniques, your clients, your products – whatever can provide you an added edge in a difficult field. By continuing to expand your knowledge base, you increase your chances of success.

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