“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” –Dale Carnegie

When there’s no hope at all, most people think ‘this is the end, after all, no hope means there’s no possible way to win. For me, and my fellow persuaders, this signals a challenge, an opportunity, a call to action. I believe there is always hope.

Many years ago I had a cat who was the very embodiment of persistence. I had a giant antique armoire in my living room. This piece of furniture was too low for him to crawl under and too large for him to swipe his paw under, but it was the perfect height for a mouse to find shelter.

I couldn’t understand why the cat sat in the corner staring all day and night for several days. He was standing a guard and waiting for a little mouse who had taken shelter there.

My cat had a goal that he was going to attain no matter how long he had to wait. And he waited and waited, and I began to worry about him because he seldom left his post. Eventually, the little guy caught the mouse, and he played with it for hours while strutting around proudly show his prize to us.

The mouse sadly died, (with burial following in the backyard) but the cat remained vigilant in that corner trying to create victory. He was hoping for another opportunity, but I like to think he was reliving his triumphant moment.

Persistence is key in persuasion. Your success rate is increased incredibly with persuasion. Follow up, follow through. Place that second or third or even fourth call, don’t accept ‘no’ for an answer.

Excelling in persistence requires intention, objective, and desire. Get these ingredients percolating within you for when you need the energy of an extra push to accomplish all of your objectives and goals.

A clear mindset is important. Self-doubt and negativity have NEVER served you well. Sometimes we play these old tapes in our heads. This outdated conditioning needs to be banished from our lives.

Seek the encouragement of friends, coworkers, allies, family in overcoming this negativity. If you have been relying on these old tapes playing in a loop in your head for many years, or your whole life, this can be a hard habit to break. Break it, you must.

With all that said, there’s a point of diminishing return and if you’ve spent sufficient time being persistent, and it has proved futile then, by all means, give up. There is no point at all in beating the proverbial dead horse. Your time is worth money and when you come to an impasse, it’s time to cut your losses.

I’ll leave you with a W.C. Fields quote: “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”

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