Persistence: It Pays To Be The Last One Standing

“No matter what you are trying to accomplish, maintain a firm belief in your ideas, bring the greatest amount of energy to them, and be willing to endure the indignities that may result. Being a mover and a shaker in (any) profession means sticking with an idea or system longer than anyone else.” – Author Unknown.

Or as I like to say, “It pays to be the last one standing.”

This mantra has helped tremendously in both my sales and speaking careers. No matter what business you’re in, persistence, kindness and gratitude pays off.


Here are the statistics: 44% of sales people give up after one “no”; 22% give up after two; 14% give up after three; 12% give up after four. However, most prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes.” It’s the fifth ask that gets the order. Persist!

A great way to stay in touch is to have some kind of newsletter or regular correspondence. When I was in the welding industry, I created a hard copy newsletter that I wrote, stapled, stamped and sent every month. While in medical sales. I switched to a monthly e-newsletter. Now I send a short, inspirational weekly message known as the “Gratitude Thought for the Week.” By providing weekly content, I am merely a “reply” away from connecting with my clients and I get to hear from them, without having to pursue them, when they read something that hits home.


Bring value to your prospects and clients. Just because you need four “NOs” before your “yes,” doesn’t mean that every call should be only about getting the order. Figure out what YOU can you do to make your prospect’s life a little easier.

To be considered “top of mind” for your clients, they must also be “top of mind” to you. In order words, look for ways you can be of service, without always having to the sale as your end game. When you see an article that you feel your client would find helpful, email it to them, even if you’re not the author. If you can’t help your customer, but you have a competitor that can, why not refer that customer to someone who can get them what they need? After all, there’s more than enough business for all of us, and when we help out a client, at the expense of our own good, they remember it.


Make sure you express your appreciation – every sales call. Every order. Every referral. What gets recognized gets repeated, so thank early and often. Be specific, be sincere and you will be a success.

Thank your clients in a variety of ways. A hand-written thank you note is particularly effective since they are so rare. The funny thing is that everyone knows the value of a handwritten note, but not many people make the effort to send one. Keep a stack of thank you notes, a pen and stamps in your car. Immediately after each sale, program or visit, write the thank you note while you are still in the parking lot and put it in the next mailbox you come to. The meeting will still be fresh in your mind and the client will be impressed when they receive your note the next day.

(About the Author: Employee Engagement Expert and Motivational Speaker, Lisa Ryan works with organizations to help them keep their top talent and best customers from becoming someone else’s. She achieves this through personalized employee engagement and customer retention keynotes, workshops and seminars. She is the author of six books, and is featured in two films including the award-winning, “The Keeper of the Keys” with Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul. For more information, please connect with Lisa at her website: or email her at

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