Persistence vs Harassment – How Many Sales Calls Should You Make?

In my role as a B2B Sales Coach, I recently received the following question.  As this is a very common question, I thought I would share it with our blog readers:

Dear B2B Sales Coach:

My boss insists I keep calling the prospect, but after a bunch of calls and messages, the customer told me to stop harassing him.  Any advice you can give me on keeping the boss happy and not annoying the customer?  – Rob, Toronto, ON

Dear Rob,

Studies have shown that 2 of 3 sales are made to prospects who have said “no” not once, but 5 times!  In fact, someone has to hear your company name at least 3 times before it even registers.  One very successful sales rep stated he must leave an average of seven to ten voice mails before his messages are returned.

Your boss is right to insist you keep calling.  However in your case Rob, I believe that the customer thought you were harassing him not because of the frequency of your calls, but because the customer saw no value in your calls.  You were an annoyance because there was nothing in it for the customer to continue your regular contact.

When all is said and done, a customer will buy on his time line, not yours.  If he will not buy today, you must develop a plan to stay in touch with him so that when he is ready to buy, he will think of you first.  Your frequent contact, if done correctly, builds a relationship.  Every contact must include something of value so the prospect welcomes the call, not avoids it.  It’s like every contact is a drip of water.  On its own, it doesn’t amount to much, but over time, each drip can add up to a very large pool!

How often you contact your prospects with your “drip” marketing campaign, and what information you include depends on your prospect’s buying cycle.  You don’t need a marketing department or any special tools to create a campaign, I set my first one up when I was a territory rep and had no budget.  To this day, I believe creating my system was one of the biggest factors in my success over my sales career.

To learn more on how to create your Drip Marketing Campaign, I recommend you check out my book, “Action Plan For Sales Success”.  It covers step by step how to set up a program that will work for you.

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, Sales Coach and Author
B2B Sales Connections,, or

Want more ideas so you can make more money in sales? Check out my webinar video recording, “What To Do Today to Sell More Tomorrow – Quick Sales Tips To Improve Your Results Immediately”.  It’s available for for instant download and viewing. Watch it as often as you like, whenever you find it convenient, and pause it anywhere to learn at your pace! As one webinar attendee said, “I have been on all 5 sessions and I have enjoyed every one. I have been in B2B sales for 10 years now and have attended training from lots of trainers and your material and delivery is among the best.”

Good luck and good selling!

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