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Persistence Hunting: Are You Willing To Chase Your Prospect for FIVE Hours Straight?

Don’t take that headline literally. You might end up in jail! But, an ancient hunting strategy does inspire us on how to grow our book of business. 

The relevant question is, are you willing to do what it takes to close that deal? 

While the practice of persistence hunting has mostly died out, there are still two groups of hunters using this method for pursuing and capturing prey. Here’s how it works. 

Since the human cooling system is highly efficient, trained people are able to chase prey for two to five hours straight and with little rest. The usual prey lacks stamina eventually collapsing from overheating, even when they can outrun the human predator in short spurts. Four herdsmen even used this technique to chase down a speedy cheetah known for killing their goats.

While most of us are not hunting actual animals, there's a good deal for sales and marketing people who believe in what they’re selling to learn from this endangered hunting practice.

In the Google talk by Mark Roberge (Sales Acceleration Formula book, affiliate), he shares how most closed deals require five to twelve (Five for smaller companies and twelve for larger corporations) points of followup before a lead is converted to a customer. This revelation is quite helpful in determining how much engagement it takes to gain traction.

Here are a few other sales numbers to illuminate how ineffective most salespeople are. And how little it takes to go from low performer to a top one. 

92% of sales people give up before the fifth follow-up. 63% of people who request information won't buy for three months. 20% will take 12 months.

Do these numbers describe you, or what you're not doing in your business? From a sales (short-term) and marketing (long-term) perspective, how are you handling lead nurturing?

For most of the years running my marketing business, the responsibility of sales fell on my shoulders. While I was great at meeting with people and facilitating the deal forward, I was terrible with follow through and follow up. At times, there was staff in place to fill this gap while others times only a void. 

An abundance of leads and deals that could have been won simply fell through the cracks. If we simply ensured we followed up five to twelve times and stayed in touch for a year, we would have sold a whole lot more work. 

This is the lesson from persistence hunters. They chase the prey until they catch it. They do what it takes, and they don’t give up. 

In sales, the challenge is not knowing how to be more effective, it’s the discipline and drive to go after it until we succeed. To follow up and stay connected even when success is not immediately visible. 

In marketing, the challenge is staying engaged for the long run, so when the prospect is ready to buy, they’ve already established a preferred buyer relationship to act on. 

Now that you know, what will you do next? 

Hero Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash

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