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Blog: Persistence

Richard Dickinson, Business Coach, Ology BC

Definition: - The act of persisting or persevering: continuing or repeating behavior.

Just ask yourself how do we use persistence in our businesses? Do we give up after one marketing campaign, one or two attempts to contact a potential client?

One of the keys to being successful in anything you do is persistence. It is the ability to maintain action regardless of your feelings. You press on even when you feel like quitting. When you work on any big goal, your motivation will wax and wane like waves hitting the shore. Sometimes you’ll feel motivated; sometimes you won’t. But it’s not your motivation that will produce results — it’s your action. Persistence allows you to keep taking action even when you don’t feel motivated to do so, and therefore you keep accumulating results.

Persistence will ultimately provide its own motivation. If you simply keep taking action, you’ll eventually get results, and results can be very motivating. For example, you may become a lot more enthusiastic about dieting and exercising once you’ve lost those first 10 pounds and feel your clothes fitting more loosely.

Put another way it’s like building a muscle. If you have never weight trained before, the first time you walk into a gym, chances are you will not be able to bench press 250 lbs. However, if you are persistent, and you consistently go back to the gym, you will find yourself getting stronger and closer to your goal with each and every visit.

Well what does all that mean to me in business?

Let’s look at the actions to find new clients, firstly you have to get a message across to your desired market and get potential clients to consider your business above all others.

How many times have you walked into a shop and not purchased anything but have gone back at a later date to complete the purchase, this tells us we have to be persistent in our approach to gaining new business because if we stop after one attempt to get new business we might as well close our business down.

Our marketing campaigns have to be given time to work however we need to test and measure them to learn from our success and failures and have the tenacity to carry on with another more successful campaign.

A personal example of this was when I was running a national insurance brokerage. I was referred to a potential client who had a Company Medical Insurance plan which was renewed each year. Upon talking to this client it became clear that he was happy with his plan and it was suitable for his company needs. At each anniversary I contacted the client to check with him again. This went on for 5 years however on the 6th year he found that the plan had unexpectedly doubled in price that year. I was then able to help him switch the plan and save his company a lot of money.

As Winston Churchill once said “Never, never, never, never quit”.

This persistence should follow through all the tasks of running a business including looking after our valuable clients when we get them.

Here are some interesting facts on this: 

  • It costs at least 5 times as much to acquire a new client as it does to look after an existing client.
  • 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.
  • Increasing customer loyalty by 5% can increase profitability by 25% - 85%.
  • 68% of clients leave because of perceived indifference(service) as opposed to only 14% who leave because of Price. (Source: Harvard Business School).

Let me leave you with the thoughts some well known people.

Benjamin Disraeli:  The secret of success is constancy to purpose.

Dale Carnegie:  Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

Louis Pasteur: Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.

Mary Kay Ash:  Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway.

Thomas Alva Edison:  Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.