When Do You Finally Give Up Calling On a Prospect?

frontConsider this:

  • 44% of salespeople stop calling on the prospect after one call.
  • 22% stop after the second call.
  • 14% after the third call.
  • 12% after the fourth call.
  • Thus, 92% of salespeople stop after four calls.

Combine that information with this:

  • 15% of the prospects can make a decision within 1-2 calls.
  • 15% within 2-3 calls.
  • 35% within 4-5 calls.
  • 35% within 5-7 calls.

Notice that 70% of the people you call on will not even make a decision until you get beyond that fourth call.  If there is a magic number, it would be five.

But as long as a prospect is using a service or product I sell, I never stop calling. The reason: things change. Decision makers come and go, money comes and goes, needs come and go, and competitors come and go.

This information is from my book, Cold Calling for Cowards: How to Turn the Fear of Rejection into Opportunities, Sales, and Money available in ebook or paperback


I Call Her Pecan Because She’s a Nut

shelled and unshelled pecans

What is the difference between being persistent – and being a stalker?

A saleswoman (I’ll call her Pecan to avoid any lawsuits) called for my advice for how to get her prospect to return her calls. She said that she had left multiple messages but he never called back.

I asked her where she stood at this point in the sales cycle.

“Well,” she said, “on my last call he told me to stop calling. He said he thought I was a stalker, that I scared him, and to never call him again.”


“Why do you keep calling him then?” I asked. “He’s given you his answer.”

She hesitated. “ Well…uh…I think I’m infatuated with him. I know he’s married, but I don’t care. What should I do?”

“DON’T CALL HIM BACK!” Get a life lady. Move on.

Pecan wasn’t happy with my answer, but she got off the phone.

She called me back the next day. “Jerry, he’s REALLY mad at me now! I didn’t do what you said and I called him back anyway. What can I do to get him to return my calls?”

Wait a minute. You want me to give you advice for how to stalk a guy? No way. I’m not going to prison for you.

“Pecan. Never call him again or the police will be taking you to the nearest calaboose for lock-up. And never call me back either.”

There. That did it.

Two years later I’m in her city doing a public seminar. Somehow she found the hotel I was staying in to do the seminar.

Getting to my room that evening after a long speaking day, I flopped down onto my bed. R-r-r-i-i-i-ng. Picking up the phone, I was shocked to hear the voice.

“Jerry!” Pecan pleaded, “I know you’ve just finished your seminar and you’re probably tired. But I’m down here in the lobby. Could you please come down and give me some advice for how I can get my (same) prospect to return my calls? I’m really getting desperate!”

And I’m getting really scared. And no, I didn’t go down to show her how to victimize someone who, I’m sure, is now heading for the witness protection program.

Now that – folks – is a stalker.

Restraining order issued: It’s okay to be persistent. It is not okay to be a stalker. Sometimes “No” means “No”. Accept it and move on. Especially when they’re married and you scare the beejezus out of them.