Actions speak louder: Portraying Persistence

Many of the phone projects I am approached to do are about “getting a meeting”. This is because, for many of us, the absence of body language is the most difficult aspect of phone communication. We are much more comfortable delivering a professional image through our appearance, handshake, attentiveness, eye contact, etc.

While there’s no doubt that face-to-face meetings are powerful and often vital to the completion of a sale or the strengthening of a relationship, it is also important to understand and embrace the “body language” of a phone call.

It starts with the phrase “Actions speak louder than words”. In the past 25 years I have found that my actions – everything from correctly identifying my target market, to picking up the phone, to following up on emails – have told my clients and potential clients more about me and my professionalism than most in-person meetings.

“How does that work?” you’re asking. Well, in upcoming blogs I’m going to introduce you to a series of words and their meanings, “action” words that, when you “do” them, send a clear and important message to your clients and prospects.

The first one is the word “persistence”. I hear this all the time as in “Thank you, Mary Jane, for your persistence”, because, as many of you already know, when I say I’m going to follow up, I follow up!

Persistence comes from the Latin and is a combination of the word “per” meaning thoroughly and “sistere” meaning to stand. So it means to be steadfast, to continue in spite of obstacles, to endure.

Persistence is a vital business characteristic. It is not only about following up on conversations or meetings or email, but about facing and conquering challenges, meeting deadlines, keeping promises, growing and adapting your company. We all want to work with persistent people, we want them on our team, we want them representing us.

So while people look at me in horror when I say that I call a contact 10 or more times to follow up on a conversation, there’s no discomfort for me. I know my action says “perisistence” And I know that while my multiple messages may sometimes be a bit irritating, this is overshadowed by the message of my persistence. My endurance sells both me as a consultant and trainer, and whatever product or service I am supporting.

And I carry persistence into my personal life too, using it when I start a new household project, want to perfect a recipe and to stay in touch with friends and family.

What about you? What is the role of persistence in your life? How are you communicating this important characteristic to your target market?


And one last thought:

You can’t test courage cautiously. ~ Annie Dillard

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What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

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