Zee2A's Marketing Edge Blog

September 21, 2009

Persistence Pays Off

I love parables, don’t you? They entertain and there’s always a lesson to be learned. Sometimes we get to snigger at the dupe that just doesn’t get it too. This week I’ve got two parables for you, and the best part is that they both happened to me within the last few weeks. You’ll learn from each one while they’re (hopefully!) entertaining you, and in one of them you’ll get to chuckle at the numpties who just didn’t get it.

1. Persistence Pays Off

Last summer Vanessa and I took a long hard look at the bargeboards and soffits on our house, and hung our heads in shame. They were awful! So we used our network to find a recommended fitter, and were introduced to Mike Sullivan at Trade Plastics. Mike came over to give us a quote – and that’s where things got a little slowed up…

You remember last summer, don’t you? That was when the world was introduced to two new phrases: ‘credit-crunch’ and ‘publically-owned financial institutions.’ So Vanessa and I did what everyone else did, and put a hold on our buying decision. How many of your clients did the same? And that was where your sales-cycle ended, I’ll bet.

But not for Mike. Earlier this year he knocked on our door and asked how things were going. He didn’t come on strong at all, just wanted to see how things were with us. Wow! Follow-up! Who’s heard of such a thing? I wish I could say that we gave him the job right then, but we didn’t. We still weren’t ready to loosen the purse-strings, so we thanked him for the visit and told him we’d call him when ready.

So how many of us would have thrown that lead in the bin and moved on? I’d probably have put my hand up to that one. But once again, Mike didn’t go with the conventional wisdom.

About three weeks ago, our doorbell rang. And it’s a funny thing, because in the week leading up to that ring, Vanessa and I had been talking about our bargeboards. If they were awful a year ago, can you imagine what they looked like by now? And the gentle ‘thaw’ of the recession is undeniable, so we were looking once more at our budget.

So when Mike was behind the opened door, we asked when he could start the job. A week later, we had lovely new bargeboards and Mike had the money in his bank account. (We can heartily recommend Mike’s work, by the way. Also, he’s a great guy, he has a great team and his prices are reasonable. So if you need that kind of work done, drop him an email.)

The moral of this story? Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Don’t be pushy, but if a prospect seemed interested and then got distracted, touch base and ask how things are going. If they’re still not ready wait for an appropriate interval then rinse and repeat. Like Mike, you may well get the business in which you invested so much effort.

Check back on Friday for my other story!

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