Inside Sales Best Practices: Be Pleasantly Persistent

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We are often asked, how many times should I follow up before I close a deal?

Let’s break that into two parts:

1) How many calls should you make to set an appointment?
2) How many calls should you make to close a sale after the 1st appointment?

We have closed deals that have resulted after 41 call attempts to set an appointment, we have still set appointments after 64 call attempts. Is that our recommendation? No. Somewhere there is a “Pest Factor” that kicks in and people start screening your caller ID.

  • 36.51% of our appointments are set on the 1st call.
  • 60.58% of our appointments are set on the 1st or 2nd call.
  • 90% of our appointments are set with less than 7 call attempts.
  • 95% with less than 12 call attempts.
  • 97.5% with less than 19 call attempts.
How Many Calls Does it Take?

How Many Calls Does it Take?

The key seems to be to make contact early and set the appointment before the 7th attempt.

  • Our average sale takes a total of between 8 & 12 calls to close, including the calls to set the appointment.

The other key seems to be to continue adding value or leaving interesting and compelling messages periodically through a nurturing program.

One of my best friends is Troy Fullmer, son of Don Fullmer and nephew of Gene Fullmer, the world champ boxers.  They were known for their persistence in the ring.

Troy is one of the most persistent salespeople I have ever met, and he is pleasant in every interaction. He also calls you back immediately after any message you leave.

He calls his strategy being “Pleasantly Persistent.”

It works.

We would be very interested to hear about what you have found in your company or industry. How many calls does it take?

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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