Selling, in all its various forms, can be a daunting task. You keep trying to get someone to buy your product or service. You keep trying to get a media outlet to offer coverage for your PR client. You keep trying to get a job interview with a particular organization. You keep trying to convince your spouse that a beach vacation beats a mountain vacation. You keep trying to get your kid to wear that retainer.
There do exist salespeople who can, as the saying goes, “sell ice cubes to Eskimos.” But most of us do not possess that magic power. We have to keep on making calls, sending emails, knocking on doors and meeting with people—over and over again—to close a deal.
Of course, it helps to have a great product or service. Or, in PR and marketing, it helps to have a good story. You need a “hook” that commands attention. You have to offer reasons why what you’re selling benefits the buyer.
But mostly, it requires your presence. If not in person, you need to be present by phone or email. It also requires prospects. And when you run out of good prospects, you must find new ones. (Or go through the list again.)
Your ideal agenda for today may not include making phone calls or sending emails to get people to buy. But you have to do it. You can’t just sit there drinking coffee, unless it’s at Starbucks or Breadco with a client or a prospect. And no matter how busy you may be with your work, you have to continue business development.
I rarely think about the huge number of applications sent out for each good job I’ve been hired for during my career. I don’t think much about the large number of calls and emails required to obtain certain media placements. Folks who’ve sold their houses don’t focus on the first 50 couples who looked. Their thoughts are on #51, the couple who bought. It’s like a fisherman who comes back from the lake with a stringer full of big fish. He doesn’t focus on the hundreds of casts he made that got nothing but, instead, on the ones resulted in bites. Keep casting! Be tenacious!