“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Like most of us, you’re probably familiar with this phrase… but if you’re wondering about the validity of the statement, or about the value of persistence, then read on.
Babe Ruth was the home run king with 714 home runs to his credit. What few people know is that during that same time period he also held the record for striking out at bat more than anyone else with 1,330 failures.
R.H. Macy failed seven times, before his store in New York caught on.
Author J.K. Rowling had her Harry Potter manuscript rejected time after time. Today, after successful books, movies, toys, clothing, etc., she is one of the world’s richest authors with a net worth of $1.0 billion dollars and 400 millions books published.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. His coach justified the cut by pointing out that Michael had little or no potential.
Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
So, what’s the point of these lesser-known examples of perseverence? I suppose it is to realize the absolute importance of persistence… the value of staying the course; of not giving up too soon.
In our previous newsletter we referenced data indicating that, on average, it takes five-to-twelve contacts to make a sale; yet 80% of sales people make three-or-fewer attempts and then give up. Thus, the vast majority of opportunities are siezed by just 20% of the sellers.
The persistent ones.
Let’s also think about the buyers and how they may have evolved. Based on the statistics above, most sellers make one or two attempts to reach a potential buyer, and then they move on (give up!).
So, has the potential buyer “evolved” to somehow realize that by simply ignoring the first couple of queries from a seller, there is an eighty-percent chance that seller will simply go away?
Hmmm… food for thought?
If you’d like a few more surprising examples of the importance of persistence, consult this list of 50 well known successful people who didn’t start off quite so well.