You’ve often been told, no doubt, that “persistence” is a necessary trait for success in sales. “Persistence pays”, they say. That’s fine, but many sales people hear that and turn into a permission to harass prospects endlessly. Lets be clear about one thing.

Persistence is not a license to stalk prospects.

There is a line between persistence and being a stalker, and way too many people are crossing it. The line is actually rather simple and it gets crossed because some main concepts get lost in the persistence message.

1 – Persistence is first and foremost about activity. That means the idea is to be persistent in constantly calling prospects and trying to find the problem you can solve. It does NOT mean calling the same prospect over and over again. That is stalking. It’s illegal in, like, 48 of the 50 states. Stop it.
2 – Most accounts need to be called several times in order to win them. I’m totally on board about calling multiple times, but there must be progress in the call sequence, and that sequence must include a negative option. That means you persist in asking for a reply or response, either yes or no. If you’re assuming the yes, or pushing for it, then you’ve become a creeper, on top of being a stalker. The calls can’t all be the same either. There also needs to be a progression in your call sequence, ending with a take-away option.
3 – When they give you a “No”, understand that it is a “No for now”, and not necessarily a No forever. Respect it. No means no and being “persistent” after someone has said no isn’t even stalking. It’s harassment, maybe even assault.

In the last few months, I was approached by a company wanting to sell me their service. After the first call, I was somewhat interested and considering it. The barrage of voicemails, texts, and emails being “persistent” have caused me concern, because anyone that desperate for my business is likely not to be on the up and up. It has made me suspicious. They called too often too fast, and never did a test take-away. 
Be persistent, but don’t be a stalker.