March 20, 2018

How to Be Persistent in Sales Without Being Annoying

BY Caitlin Delohery IN Relationships, Sales 0 Comment

We all know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a company’s unwanted attention. You’ve said no again and again or ignored emails and phone calls, but they can’t take the hint. When you’ve gotten annoyed with a company’s outreach, how likely are you to become one of their customers?

So, when the shoe is on the other foot, you want to avoid pushing your audience’s annoyance button.

Here’s how to be persistent without being annoying in sales.

Focus on benefits.

You know that your customers don’t want to be sold to. They’ve heard it all before. If you lead with all your products benefits or how wonderful your company is, they might not even pay attention to you long enough for you to understand where you went wrong.

So, instead of focusing on why you’re great, give your contacts an idea of what benefits your solutions provide.

For example, this email is on the road to Annoyingville, population you:


Have you heard about how amazing our company is? We’ve won 13 awards, we’re the best-in-class, and we top the competition every day. We’re so wonderful, you’d be lucky to be one of our customers!

Brad Braggarton

This email focuses on what a contact has to gain by responding:


Just popping into your inbox to send this article about how you can save some time on training because every HR director I know could use more hours in their day.

Do you have 5 minutes to talk about how we can save you a week in onboarding time?


Timing is everything.

Be thoughtful about when you reach out and how often you make contact. For example, if you send multiple emails in a single day, that could quickly cross the line into over-communicating. If you make phone calls outside of normal business hours, you up the chance that you’re interrupting your audience’s life instead of providing value.

Good timing varies from audience to audience. So, test out what seems to work the best for your prospects. Here are some good tips to start:

  • Try touching base 2 days in a row initially and then spacing outreach 3-9 days apart.
  • Try the mid-week and mornings.
  • Avoid typical lunchtimes and Saturdays.
  • Keep track of what works — and what drives people away.

Be funny.

Entertaining your contacts is pretty much the opposite of annoying them. If you can make your audience laugh, you’ll earn a lot of brownie points. You can cash these brownie points in for more touchpoints or even a sale.

  • Be lighthearted.
  • Use gifs and memes.
  • Keep it work appropriate.

Get creative.

Your contacts get *a lot* of emails, messages, and phone calls. In fact, most people get more than 120 correspondences per day. If you’re just another one of the masses, you’re going to be part of the annoying noise that makes your prospect’s life a little bit more difficult.

But, if you get creative with your follow up, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

  • Be specific, personalized, and personal.
  • Be yourself — that’s how you’ll implement your most unique ideas.
  • Don’t replicate the same old messages you get (and ignore) yourself all the time.

Know when to walk away.

You put a lot of work into your sales follow up, so it can be tricky to walk away. But if you’ve made repeated attempts to connect with a prospect and they’ve never responded, it may be time to let things go.

Pay attention to your business cycle and set a reasonable timeframe for your audience. If you don’t hear from a prospect within that window, cut your losses and move on to someone who’s more interested in your offerings.

Looking for more on effective outreach? Check out our article on how to sell to people who don’t want to be sold.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

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