A Successful Prospecting Experiment. The Conclusion
Welcome back to the conclusion of “A Successful Prospecting Experiment”. Let’s take a look at the variables and how we apply the controllables to them to impact results.
Every morning before I start my prospecting, I take out a devise that works like a crystal ball. It tells me who I should call, when I should call to make certain they are there; It also predicts which prospects are going to schedule an appointment, which ones will cancel on me an hour before the meeting, it tells me which prospect is going to say “yes” and which ones are going to say “no” and finally it tells me how many referrals each person is going to give me! I am sure every one of you reading this has that same devise right…No?
Wouldn’t it be great if the above scenario were the case? We could know for certain who to call and spend all our time there. Unfortunately this is not the case. All the items I mentioned above are VARIABLES to the prospecting experiment. We will not know until we apply a controllable application to each of them, what the result will be.
Each of the A’s we control (Attitude, Activity, Accountability, Assessments and Adjustments) have a specific application that is applied to each of the variables mentioned above. What we are going to do now is grab our beaker and mix the controllables and variables together to produce our outcome.
Variable: Contacting a prospect. Controllable Application: Make the call
It can be very easy to try to convince yourself as to why you should not call. I have heard things like, “It’s Friday and they are probably off for the weekend” or “Today is President’s Day” (actually at the time of this writing, Monday really is President’s Day). The point is, while you can do your homework in evaluating the best time to call someone, we are not guaranteed we will reach them. But we can guarantee an opportunity to talk with them by controlling our action and making the call or knocking on the door.
In my early days, I must confess that I tried to talk myself out of making a call, especially when I was stepping out of my comfort zone and entering a more sophisticated market. To combat this, I made it mandatory that once I picked up the phone, I dialed the number. I had reached the point of no return and could not sit the phone back down until I talked to someone or heard the voicemail. It worked.
Variable: Appointment cancels. Controllable Application: Schedule another
I touched on this in an early writing. No one likes it, but there are times when the big one you have worked on, that you are counting on, cancels or reschedules. What you do after that really says a lot about what kind of career you have in front of you. Hard as it may be, the best thing you can do, is start finding a replacement right away. I have seen this scenario happen to good salespeople and it frustrates them so, that they cannot function until the next day or until after a long weekend. C’mon. I know it’s tough, I’ve been there but remember who’s in control. Pick up the phone and go again.
Variable: Prospects response. Controllable Application: Seek the “yes”
I had an agent once who was given a referral to a very prominent figure in our community. Everyone knows him and he fit the profile of a great client. Instead of getting excited about the meeting, the agent remarked that “every agent in this town has probably contacted him and he already has all he needs”. Really? How did he know that? The point is he will never know if he doesn’t ask. The only thing we can control is when we have the opportunity to share our story, we ask for the business. How many opportunities do you miss personally by trying to “predict” what someone will say? Seeking the yes is within your control!
Variable: Getting a referral. Controllable Application: Ask after you earn
Referrals are the life blood to a sales career period; yet for some reason they are often overlooked. Why? See if you can identify with this: Forget to ask. You get caught up in the moment of the sale and you just simply forget. How about this: Not sure it’s a good idea. You are right if you presentation is high pressure, and unprofessional BUT, if you believe what you offer has value and if you have proven that to a potential prospect, whether they become a client or not, you have earned the right to ask for a favorable introduction to others. It may be simply “who do you know that I can approach in the same way I approached you” or “If you know anyone looking for a great business experience, tell them about me!” Either way or any way you choose to do it, the key again is you are in charge of the asking.
Okay, so here is the BIG point to this part of the experiment. Ready…FOCUS YOUR TIME ON CONTROLLING THE CONTROLLABLES NOT GUESSING ON A VARIABLE! Don’t waste your time trying to control a variable. You can’t. If you will spend your time controlling what you can control, you will influence the variables to favorably impact your results.
The Results: The undeniable outcome of our efforts
Now that we have mixed it all together, let’s see what we have created. The key here is that what you see is what you get. The results are undeniable. Do you like what you see? If yes congratulations, keep it up. If not go back immediately to the controllables.
By effectively utilizing this formula for prospecting, you can be assured of one key result and that is a consistent flow of business opportunities. That is all we can ask for…an opportunity to show value of what we do.
So there is your experiment. I hope your results are what you want them to be and they can be if you stay in control. Happy Prospecting!