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<title>Persistence is Polite </title>
<p>
As teenagers, we painfully learned that if you call someone and they don't call you back, they're just not into you. If you keep calling, you must be a total loser.
</p>
<p>
But in the business world, <strong>it's the opposite: persistence is polite, and if you don't keep calling, you must be a loser</strong>.
</p>
<p>
Imagine this:
</p>
<ul>
<li>You call me, and get my voicemail. You leave a message. </li>
<li>You don't know that I hardly ever listen to voicemail.</li>
<li>A few days later you call again, but I'm out, so you leave a message with a real person in my office.</li>
<li>I see a message on my desk that you called, and I mean to call you, but I get distracted.</li>
<li>My desk fills up with other stuff, and buries the little message, so I forget.</li>
<li>You email me to let me know you've been trying to reach me, but your email arrives just as I'm leaving for a conference for 5 days.</li>
<li>When I return from the conference, I've got 1000 emails in my IN box.</li>
<li>You call again, talk to someone in my office, and tell them to tell me it's important, that you've left messages with no reply.</li>
<li>They come knock on my office door to tell me you're on the phone.</li>
<li>I finally pick up the phone and say, “Hi! Sorry I was hard to reach.”</li>
</ul>
<p>
<strong>At this point, I am sincerely glad that you had the manners to keep trying, because I really did want to talk to you.</strong>
</p>
<p>
Imagine this, instead:
</p>
<ul>
<li>You call me, and get my voicemail. You leave a message.</li>
<li>I get busy with other things, and forget to call you back.</li>
<li>You silently rage for years, thinking I'm an asshole, thinking I hate you, so you hate me, too.</li>
</ul>
<p>
<strong>Calling once, and never again like that, is rude and inconsiderate.</strong>
</p>
<p>
In this business, you have to <strong>prove that something is important to you</strong> by being persistent. If you mail someone a package, and don't follow-up until you reach them, it means you didn't care.
</p>
<p>
<strong>Persistence is polite and considerate, because it shows that you understand how busy people can get. It also shows how much you care.</strong>
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/persistence.gif" alt="Persistence is Polite" />
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