Customer Experience News & Trends

Ways to use persistence to regain lost customers

When people don’t have sufficient persistence, they take rejection personally. They become hesitant to get in front of another potential customer because the pain of potential rejection is too great to run the risk. 

Leaving the rejection behind

Salespeople with persistence have the ability to leave the rejection behind and go on from there.

Here are four major barriers to persistence and tips to overcome them:

1. Planning fall-off

Loss of persistence can usually be traced to poor planning or improper goal setting. Goals are so large and long-range that salespeople tend to go off track and lose faith in their ability to achieve them.

Solutions: Reevaluate goals and break them down to create short-term rewards and a feeling of accomplishment. Ask:

  • Are goals specific and tell exactly what’s expected and when?
  • Are goals realistic and attainable? The best goals require stretching but are achievable.
  • Do the goals have starting points, ending points and fixed durations? Goals without deadlines are seldom achieved.

2. Failing to listen about prospects’ changing needs

They don’t allow prospects to do most of the talking or fail to learn enough about their competition.


  • Ask questions that relate to what the prospect is saying.
  • Acknowledge what the prospect has said before changing the direction of the conversation.
  • Repeat in their own words what the prospect has said to ensure understanding.

3. Lack of caring

When the level of caring falls off, complacency usually sets in, undermining persistence.


  • Earn the customer’s right to do business and don’t just assume it.
  • Make sure presentations are customer-centered.
  • Know what customers expect, and collaborate with them to exceed those expectations.

4. Burnout

Burnout can result from repetition, boredom, lack of challenge or a combination of all three.

Solutions? Salespeople should understand:

  • They are much more likely to be rejected than accepted by a prospect.
  • They should try to accept rejection, not as a personal affront but as part of the life of a salesperson.
  • They must have the persistence to bounce back from rejection.

Enthusiasm and persistence

Enthusiasm is the basis for persistence. It’s the priceless ingredient in every sale, building courage and correcting bad attitudes. For salespeople to respond enthusiastically, they have to show enthusiasm for their products and services.

They have to believe what they say. They have to have faith in their company, their industry, and their ability to help their customers.

The two main ingredients for enthusiasm are being captivated by an ideal and having a deep conviction that it can be achieved.

Four planning essentials

Here are four tips that may generate increased enthusiasm:

  1. Practice presentations. Compile all the information that may come up during the presentation.
  2. Sell solutions. Prospects are most interested in what the product or service can do for them.
  3. Be responsive. Feedback from the prospect generates confidence that leads to increased persistence.
  4. Understand that customers know the difference between salespeople who are going though the motions and those who are dedicated, enthusiastic and persistent.

Personal enthusiasm

Salespeople demonstrate their enthusiasm to prospects in three ways:

  1. Personal presence demonstrated by how they carry themselves and how they speak.
  2. Personal power shown in their ability to get things done or to make positive things happen for their customers and their company.
  3. Passion shown in their strong belief in their company product, service and self.

Persistence in the planning stage

Research shows that salespeople who do the most planning have more persistence than those who don’t. The best planners ask question in four key areas:

  1. Why do you buy our product or service?
  2. How could we improve it?
  3. Where do you use our product or service? How?
  4. How does our product or service help you?

Adapted from: The Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeople, by Roger Dawson, an expert on the art of negotiating and persuasion. He has been a full-time speaker for 20 years, and has trained executives, managers and salespeople throughout the world.

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