Luck or Pluck

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, some of us may recall an old children’s poem from the early 1900s that often made its way to our school lessons in March:

What we call luck is simply pluck
And doing things over and over
Courage and will, perseverance and skill
Are the four leaves of Luck’s clover.

This poem’s message is particularly relevant to the inside sales industry. Making cold calls requires a ton of pluck; it’s repetitive work, and BDRs can get discouraged when they go a long time between setting appointments. It’s easy to feel like you’re cursed with bad luck.

Of course, there is an element of luck in calling campaigns—otherwise, their results would be 100% predictable. But from week to week, the peaks and valleys tend to even out. Ultimately, it’s persistence, strategy, and a positive attitude that make a campaign successful.

Don’t believe it? Consider how these 5 example situations—often considered lucky—are actually the result of plucky BDRs:

Luck? On the tenth call, a decision maker finally happened to pick up the phone and agreed to take an appointment.
Pluck. Because BDRs kept at it, calling this prospect over and over—including at different times of day and on different days of the week—they eventually got her on the phone.

Luck? A prospect mentioned that he has a relative who is a current customer, making him receptive to an appointment.
Pluck. The BDR established a friendly rapport with this prospect, which made him comfortable enough to tell her about his relative.

Luck? A gatekeeper said that the decision maker was out of the office, but she was mistaken.
Pluck. The BDR didn’t want to take anything for granted, so he asked to be transferred anyway.

Luck? A decision maker agrees to take a phone call because she’s been tasked with researching each of the possible options for a contract that is currently out for bid.
Pluck. The BDR was astute enough to ask if there were any RFPs out currently—and the answer was yes.

Luck? A company previously wasn’t interested, but now there’s a new DM. This new person agrees to an appointment.
Pluck. The BDR didn’t give up when the last DM wasn’t interested; instead, he waited a few months to follow up—and when he did, there was a new, more receptive DM.

It all goes to show that nothing in inside sales is determined entirely by luck—there is always more to the story. When it comes to cold calling, good luck is the result of being tough enough to handle rejection, determined enough to get past objections, persistent enough to keep trying, and skilled enough to schedule a qualified appointment.

That’s why the best callers take the wisdom of the old poem to heart—they grind through the difficult days, maintaining the skills, focus, and attitude that lead to effective prospecting. When they do, they know that Lady Luck will grant her favor.

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