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Success Secrets from Eric Schmidt, Reid Hoffman, and Adam Grant

account based salesDo your lead generation strategies encourage persistence and curiosity?

A 10-year-old girl was afraid that if she once again asked her brother to teach her to play the guitar, he would think she was being pushy. Hearing her express this fear was enough to set me off. I took her aside and gave her a life lesson—there’s a huge difference between pushy and persistent, no matter how her brother perceived it. She should never be fearful of persistence, as that trait always wins over pushy. At least that’s how I perceive it. And I’m not alone.

Clients appreciate persistence. Top account based sales reps don’t sit back and wait for prospects to call. They get referrals to prospects who actually want to hear from them, and they provide insights and demonstrate persistence that builds relationships and advocates. Those are lead generation strategies that always work.

On the other hand, cold calling and pestering strangers with sales pitches on LinkedIn—that is pushy.

Persistence isn’t just key to success in account based sales. It’s key to success …. period. At least that’s what Google billionaire Eric Schmidt and other top business leaders think.

Persist or Perish

As the former CEO of Google—and now executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet—Schmidt knows a thing or two about career success.

In a recent “Masters of Scale” podcast interview with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Schmidt discussed two traits that he believes are foundational for success—the traits he looks for in new hires. Chief among them is persistence.

“I would suggest—and this has since been confirmed by many studies—that persistence is the single biggest predictor of future success,” Schmidt says. “And so we would look for persistence.”

This CNBC article about the podcast quotes other business leaders and experts who agree, including organizational psychologist and New York Times best-selling author Adam Grant, who adds:

Persistence is one of the most important forces in success and happiness. There’s the author whose novel was rejected half a dozen times. The artist whose cartoons were turned down over and over. And the musicians who were told ‘guitar groups are on the way out’ and they’d never make it in show business. If they had quit, Harry Potter, Disney and the Beatles wouldn’t exist.

Whether you want to write a book, convince your brother to give you guitar lessons, or rock your sales quota, persistence is key.

Persistence and Curiosity: A Winning Combination for Account Based Sales

The other trait Schmidt values most is curiosity. That’s something he shares with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who credit much of their own success to curiosity. It’s also something successful account based sales reps have in common. They don’t just pitch solutions. First, they ask question after question to ensure they’ve uncovered the core client problems.

Can curiosity be taught? I don’t think so. My early exposure to the importance of curiosity was in high school. I competed in a state-wide forensic competition with a speech I gave about curiosity and discontent. It was originally delivered to the incoming freshman class of Rutgers University in 1953. I’ve never forgotten those words and have always tried to nurture my curiosity, in life and in sales.

So, are you curious or persistent? Or better yet, a bit of both?

Curiosity and persistence aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they thrive on each other. I may wax philosophical, but I believe that we’ll never make a difference in our world unless we’re continually curious, unless we challenge conventional thinking, unless we communicate our discontent about the status quo, and most importantly, persist in our efforts to change it for the better.

Are your persistent salespeople still having trouble getting prospects on the phone? Read “#1 Way Account Based Sales Reps Resolve the Gatekeeper Problem.”

Connect with No More Cold Calling

Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Copyright: piksel / 123RF Stock Photo

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