Jack is a sales rep. Today is his day for cold calling. After 100 calls, Jack has a scorecard that looks like this:

  • No answer/voice mail — 75
  • Answered, not interested — 21
  • Possibly interested – 3
  • Definitely interested – 1

It’s slow going, but Jack knows this is what it takes to get more customers.

But wait. Let’s look at the second category — the people whom Jack spoke to but aren’t interested. Of course, most of them will stay not interested — no matter what Jack says. But what if Jack could make a second effort that moved just one or two of them into the Possibly Interested category? Over time, what might that do to his sales?

It’s always worthwhile to make a second effort when you hear a no. Because there’s no way to predict which prospects might respond. It only takes a moment. You have absolutely nothing to lose. And — perhaps most important — 95 percent of the work is already done.

Think about it: Where do you spend most of your prospecting time? Actually talking to prospects? No, you spend it dealing with receptionists, gatekeepers and voice mail. It takes a lot of work just getting connected to a decision maker. So once you reach them, why not try to get as much value as possible from the call?

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