What Bud Fox Can Teach You About Persistence

Recently, I re-watched “Wall Street”, an all-time classic movie about a young, ambitious stockbroker named Bud Fox looking to make it big on Wall Street. As most of you know, the film focuses on Fox’s meeting with Gordon Gekko, a wealthy and successful investor, which commences an exciting and dangerous path down Insider Trading.  When watching the movie, I couldn’t help but focus on HOW Fox landed this initial meeting with Gekko. Gekko’s first words to Fox are “this is the kid, calls me 59 days in a row, wants to be a player. There ought to be a picture of you in the dictionary under persistence kid.”

59 days in a row. According to TeleNet, in 2007 it took 3.68 cold attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. Balance this with the fact that the average salesperson only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect. Huge disconnect! Here are a few persistence tips as you look to close the “deal that changes it all.”

·       Prospect daily – Grant Cardone drives the point home in this post but in order for your prospecting efforts to be effective, you need to make time on the calendar every single day. Are there days where you’ll be busy with meetings or feel unmotivated? Of course. But as Jocko Willink says, the only way to get something done is to do it. This will take discipline built over time.

·       Make a plan and stick with it – The last thing a salesperson should do before leaving the office each day is map out their next day’s activities. This includes meetings, calls, and yes, prospecting. Not only when to prospect and for how long – but who you are planning to target. Don’t go into the day blind and put yourself at a disadvantage.

·       Find reasons to engage – In my last post, I wrote about the importance of always adding value in a customer engagement. This part is crucial and easier than you might think. There are endless amounts of publicly available (and free) tools such as building Twitter lists and Google Alerts, to find a compelling reason to engage.

·       Engage in various tactics – Sometimes it isn’t enough to send a follow-up email every few days, or to only cold call. One great way to increase your cadence is through the use of social selling. Social should not overthrow traditional methods, but rather, as Jill Rowley puts it – should be an incremental, additive strategy.

Whether it takes the average 8 touches or 59 calls in a row like Bud Fox, persistence is a key that will differentiate you and land you that meeting with the prospect “that can change it all”.

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