Persistence vs Pressure

The sale doesn’t start until you receive your first no.

If I have heard this nugget of sales wisdom once, I have heard it a thousand times.  Why, you may ask.  Because it is true.  Sales can be a tough business.  It is what separates the sales person from the order taker.  If you want easy sales, go to Wal-Mart.  If you want to earn an exceptional living, learn to sell.

There are many “secrets” to making the sale, but the biggest one is not taking no for an answer.  The fact is that most prospects will say no the first time you ask them to buy your product or service.  Even if they want and need what you are offering, they will say no.

This post is about how to (and how not to) deal with that no.


Persistence is defined as the firm continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Very seldom will someone just say no.  People do not like to disappoint friendly people (you are being friendly, right?), they are just conditioned to say no.  That is why they will explain why they are saying no.  in this situation, your listening skills rise to the occasion.  Pay attention to what their exact objection is, acknowledge their issue and craft an appropriate response.

Don’t forget to ask for the sale again.

Some people absolutely will not commit to a purchase on the first meeting.  That does not mean they will not buy from you, just that they will not buy from you right now.  Schedule a time to follow up, and keep that appointment.  Ask if the prospect has any questions or concerns.

Don’t forget to ask for the sale again.

Finally, how many call backs is too many?  You have to be careful to avoid crossing from salesperson to stalker.  If you can’t get the prospect in a few tries, it might be time to just move on.  Before you do, though…

Don’t forget to ask for the sale again.


Pressure can be defined as the act of forcing someone toward a particular end.

My mother once asked me, “If Bobby jumped off of a bridge would you jump with him?”  The fact was that the answer at the time was maybe.  Peer pressure is a form of pressure that we have all experienced at some point in time.

As a highly trained sales person, you have a set of skills designed to get someone to say yes.  The issue is that the ends do not necessarily justify the means.

If you harass a prospect to the point where they no longer have a choice, the sale will not stick.  A sales person who puts up a few solid sales is far more valuable than one that sells many cancellations.

That is not the worst part of pressuring your prospect.  As a heavily regulated financial professional, the wrong pressure can even be illegal.

Use care when you are using your powers of persuasion.  Just because a prospect says no, doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy from you.  On the other side of the coin, just because your prospect said yes doesn’t mean that they felt they could say no.  Be persistent but not pressuring.


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