This morning I received an email asking me about the difference between being persistent and being a nuisance. Here we go!

If you are going to win your dream client’s business, you are going to have to be determined and persistent. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here; first, you are going to have to be persistent enough to obtain a commitment for their time. If the company and person you are calling on is really your dream client, it is certain they already have a provider, and that their time is not going to be easily given.

Persist you must.

But persistence can easily cross the line into something else completely. The same persistence that your dream client will later come to value when it is applied to ensuring they achieve the outcomes you promised can sometimes damage a potential relationship. To keep from crossing the line, you need to know where that line is.

Are You Value Creator or a Time Waster?

If you are calling to “check in,” it is almost certain that you are on the wrong side of the continuum that is persistence on the good end and nuisance on the wrong end.

The test to whether or not you are being persistent or a nuisance comes down to whether or not you have something valuable to share with your dream client. What do you have that will create enough value to make it worth your dream client’s while to spend time with you, either on the phone or face-to-face?

Do you have an idea that they can use?

Have you come up with ways to help other clients produce massively better results that might help them?

Do you have a new offering that will help them help their clients?

Do you have information that they may not be able to get elsewhere but that will help them make better decisions for their business?

What does your dream client get out of your persistent effort, other than a check in call?

Do You Have an Agenda?

When you interact with your dream client, you will be considered a time-wasting nuisance if you do not have an agenda. This is true for every interaction, even cold calling (yes, cold calling).

If you are going to be persistent, be purposefully persistent.

If you are trying to get in, tell your dream client who you are. Tell them why are you trying to communicate with them. Tell them what you have to offer them that may be worth their while. Tell them what you are asking them to commit to and what they will gain from giving you the commitment.

If you have an agenda, you are being persistent. If you are meandering, wandering, searching for something to latch onto, you are being a nuisance. If you are trying to get in and your call sounds pretty much like a needs analysis, you are meandering—and you are, more than likely, a nuisance.

In short, if you have an agenda and something that will potentially be valuable to your dream client, you are being persistent.

If you don’t have the agenda or something worth sharing, maybe you should do something to remedy these two issues before you pick up the phone.

You may be smiling and dialing, but your dream client is frowning and drowning.


Is your persistence about getting what you want? Or is your persistence about your strong ability and desire to help your dream client produce better outcomes?

How do you feel when a salesperson doesn’t take no for an answer? How many times can they ask you for the same commitment in the same interaction before they cross the line?

Hang on; don’t leave this line of thinking so quick. When you really, really need a result in an area where achieving that result is difficult, how badly do you want someone super-persistent working on your behalf?

Do you have a nurture toolkit that facilitates frequent, value-creating communications with your dream client? Can you build one?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 12, 2011
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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