Solving the Persistence Puzzle

Welcome to the fourth in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share! 

I am a hard worker. I may not be the smartest person on the planet, or the most talented, but I do not give up, and a lot of the time tenacity is what wins the game—or the client.

Despite this, it took some serious coaching for me to realize that this translates to using the phone to make follow-up sales calls.

This is what I believed about follow-up calls:

1) The client would think I was annoying, or pathetic;

2) They would laugh at me or roll their eyes when they heard my voice again; or

3) I would come across as pushy and desperate, resulting in a bad reputation for myself and my business.

Turns out I was not only incorrect, but the majority of the time the OPPOSITE was true. Here’s why:

Everyone is very busy. If you don’t hear anything back from your phone call or email, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not interested in what you have to say, just that they were too busy to respond. Don’t drop off the face of the Earth—it sends the message to the client that they are not important to you. Reaching out 4-5 times is completely normal. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had people thank me for my diligent follow up.

I have found that as long as I am respectful and friendly, persistent follow up pays off. On one occasion, I’d reached out almost 10 times by voicemail and email, with no luck even introducing myself to the client. On the verge of moving on, I gave it one final try. The client happened to pick up the phone, and once she heard what I had to say, she scheduled an in-person meeting immediately. They are now  a valued client.

All I’m saying is, persistence pays off. Be friendly, respectful, and recognize that people are busy. From experience I can tell you that people will be grateful that you recognize they have hectic schedules and you’ll hear “Thank you so much for following up.”

Leslie Gallagher is the founder and owner of, an innovative job board where job seekers apply to positions with recorded Video Interview Messages. Their mission is to keep talent in the region. She can be reached on Twitter @LG_HFX and at

For more insights on persistence, check out these previous posts: Constants Speaks – Loudly!    What Does Persistence Mean?    How Many Messages   Actions Speak Louder: Portraying Persistence   Five Reasons to Say “Yes” to Persistence

4 thoughts on “Solving the Persistence Puzzle”

  1. You are correct… just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true. Just as this holds for how we think about the phone, it holds for the ideas we have about many other important elements of life… some of which hold us back.

    • This is so true, Steve. We really need to stay present to our thoughts. They can support us or sabotage us. This is why gratitude is so powerful, right? Thanks for sharing your comments here.

  2. Persistence is the most important, but often the most difficult step of your sales process. This article has inspired me to get myself better organized to serve my clients better by persisting in letting them know how I can help them.

    • Thanks, Eileen. Persistence is difficult for everyone. Remember that it is all about customer service – no about you at all. And if the answer is “no”, customers usually tell you. Wishing you all the best with your phone work.


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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

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.