Pleasantly persistent, Goldie stands patiently in front of a stranger who sits on a park bench near the pond where Goldie walks daily. Eyeing the person expectantly, Goldie nudges the orange Frisbee closer to the person’s feet and vigorously wags her tail. Every muscle in her body is poised for the anticipated throw of her beloved toy.

Although she is a dog, Goldie has many lessons to teach about building rapport and making the sale. She is a mixed breed that I rescued when she was 3. Now past 10, she still has the energy and enthusiasm of a pup. The only difference is that she sleeps more deeply between playtimes.

It takes a few minutes for Goldie to be rewarded as the stranger picks up the Frisbee and discards it a few feet away. Thrilled, Goldie retrieves it and again drops the disc at the feet of the individual, backs off, tail still wagging, and waits for the person to respond. When nothing happens in the next half minute, she pushes the toy closer to their feet and backs off even more.

Great joy! The person picks it up and verbally tells her go away while placing it aside. Does Goldie give up? No, and soon the individual and Goldie are engaged in a game. Although the person thought Goldie would stop after a few half-hearted tosses, my dog’s focus has been heightened by any and all attention. Once having found a prospect, Goldie continues to ask.

Those in sales are familiar with the statistics that almost half the people never follow up. Of those that do, 25% stop after the first try and 90% are done by the third attempt. Yet the majority of sales are made after the 5th contact. Goldie is living proof.

It’s not only her persistence that gets her the “sale”, it’s also her manner. Goldie is upbeat and positive no matter how lack luster and disinterested the human behaves. With mouth open and tongue slightly hanging out, it appears that she’s smiling. She exudes friendship by wagging her tail and fixing her eyes on the person, then the toy, then the person repeatedly until she gets a response. She is undaunted.

Another lesson that Goldie teaches is that the past is the past. She has no memory of being rejected, whether a few seconds ago or several days or weeks in the past. She lives in the now. Whenever the timing is right, Goldie is there to catch her reward – literally.

As the days of summer become hot and the desire to loaf tickles my brain, I think of the dog day of selling that earmarks Goldie and I get back to work. Persistence, positive attitude, and being present are valued behaviors to building rapport and making more sales.

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