Influence SellingIn high school, most of us were introduced to the concept of positive correlation.

In case your math is a little rusty, a positive correlation is a relationship between two variables such that they increase together. Of course, a negative correlation is the opposite.

My math teacher used to give us this example:

  • If you spend more time studying, you’ll get a higher mark: positive correlation. If you spend less time studying and end up getting a higher mark: negative correlation (and you were really lucky).

My math teacher wanted me to “make something of my life” and get into a respectable profession – like computer science or engineering.

Correlation also played an important role in my high school marketing class in which my teacher introduced us to the concept of advertising. We learned that advertisers spend lots and lots of money over and over again to get people to buy their products. When they didn’t spend money, their sales would seem to drop and suffer. So there were also direct positive and negative correlations at play here.

My marketing teacher also wanted me to “make something of my life” and encouraged me to pursue my passions and get into business school.

In retrospect, it frustrates me why marketing and math never got along in high school. Both were essentially saying the same thing and math was applied in marketing programs all the time. In retrospect, the positive correlation between these two subjects is undeniable.

The Real Life Sales Application

Here’s another positive correlation that makes complete sense to me.

I recently read that 80% of sales happen on the fifth to twelfth attempt. I couldn’t validate this stat anywhere so please don’t take it as something absolute from a large research house. But it does show anecdotally what sales professionals have known all along: sales is really about persistence. It’s the reason why people employ us. They want someone to stay on top of it. And here’s the weird part: most of us don’t.

Sales Stats

The greats amongst us never shy away. They are persistent, deliberate and act on every opportunity.

I know what you’re thinking: is it really wise to call your prospects 5-12 times after they’ve already seen a demo or said no (which, by the way, could mean “not now”)?

Calling someone repeatedly and asking “what did you think of my demo?” or “did you get my proposal?” really doesn’t add any value. If you’re doing this you’re just a pest.

Practice Influence Selling

The best way to demonstrate value is by being an influencer. Influence selling helps your prospects along the path to a sale by tailoring content that speaks to them. Show them that you understand their industry and their pains. Be keen to draw upon information that they’ve given you during your previous meetings. Content that you can share from thought leaders is especially powerful, since it has the ability to resonate immediately with your prospect.

Here at Sales for Life we once won a deal through influence selling by sending a prospect tailored content every day for three weeks straight. It was insightful, demonstrated value, and instilled confidence in the client that we knew what we were talking about. Our persistence at influencer selling paid off. And this is far from the only example we’ve got!

Ask yourself, how many other salespeople do this? The answer is fairly obvious.

We call this Selling Through The Dead Zone – that uncomfortable gap in between proposal/pitch/demo and the prospect’s final answer.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a firm believer that persistence pays off and that 80% of sales can happen with persistent effort, make that effort with social selling. Make those attempts count by adding value to your prospect’s buying journey.

Need help in figuring out where to find content and how to position yourself? Let’s set up 15 minutes to talk and I’ll walk you through it.

To learn more about Social Selling check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Social Selling Machine or 9 Steps to a Winning LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals.

Amar Sheth


So what are you waiting for? Download the below guides .

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Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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