80% of Sales Happen after 87% of Sales People Give Up

  • 2% of new business sales are made on the 1st contact
  • 3% of new business sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of new business sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of new business sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of new business sales are made on or after the 5th  contact

You didn’t fail to book the meeting because you pitch wasn’t slick enough or the color of your business card.

A slick sales presentation of an incredible PowerPoint has never lost (or won) a sale.  Your solution can perfectly solve a problem or increase sales and profits, but this is never enough to close the sale.  Solutions are great and profits are even better, but neither means anything without a feeling of trust.  The main reason the B-to-B sales cycle takes so long is that trust takes time

We begin building trust with familiarity.  The first voicemail, or the first time you meet with a decision maker, is just that, the first time.  Contact builds familiarity and familiarity build trust.  Each voicemail, thoughtful email or short pop-in visit is a chance to build familiarity and trust.

Prospecting is part of closing a sale

Prospecting is not selling and but selling and prospecting are not two distinct processes.  It sure is great to pick up the phone or walk into a business, get right to the decision maker and walk out with their business card and a spot on their calendar for later in the week.  But more often than not, that is not what happens.  This narrow view of prospecting can be will knock the wind out of a sales person’s sales.  No meeting  = failure.

“Hello, my names is….” directly to “Sure how about you come back Friday at 9 am so we can discuss this more” seldom happens.  When it does, great, either the person is bored or they have an urgent need!  But if a salesperson main prospecting strategy is based solely on lucky timing they are going to be screwed.

Prospecting is not just about booking the first formal meeting.  Our prospecting activities give us a chance to build familiarity and trust, but also to learn more about our decision maker, the internal politics, and priorities of the company, and give us additional opportunities to be in the right place a the right time.  Every touch point is a chance to learn.  It’s important to not squander these touch points, try always to learn something about the prospect, company, etc… without being too pushy.  Don’t be afraid to ask for the meeting if the opportunity comes up, but be careful about pushing too far too fast.

The formula for success!



So 80% of sales happen on or after the 5th call

However, and it is a big however:

  • 46% of reps give up after 1st attempt
  • 22% give up after 2nd attempt
  • 19% give up after 3rd attempt

This means 87% if salespeople are giving up before before 80% of customer are ready to by!

That is some incredible math!

Key takeaways:

  1. There are no sales without trust
  2. Contact leads to familiarity, familiarity leads to trust
  3. Most sales occur after most salespeople have given up


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