An Old School Approach Part 2: When Seeking the “Yes”, Search for an Audience, Not an Answer
Early in my career I spent countless hours going over prospect files and analyzing how I knew them, what they might need, what they might already have and how many times someone else had already approached them. Once I made this highly ineffective analysis I was not too eager to move forward to analyze yet another prospect file in order to get closer to a positive prediction of the coveted yes.
Does the above scenario sound familiar? If so you are not alone. Look, I know selling can be difficult. We lay it on the line every time we pick up the phone, knock on a door or send an introductory letter and it would be great if we had a way to predict which of our prospect files would reap the “yes”. Unfortunately…we don’t. So now that we have that out of the way and if you are struggling with the above scenario regarding your prospecting efforts, allow me to share some wisdom with you…seek an audience, not an answer.
If you are always looking for a way to predict an answer, then I want to challenge you to change your entire approach. Instead of trying to determine what might or might not be said, look for an audience, an opportunity! This is all we are given, a chance to demonstrate what we do and how we can help.
I have discovered in my latter years of selling my services that if I can master the fundamentals of great selling skills, be genuine and transparent and put the needs of clients first and deliver a high quality service ,then what I really need to be successful is a consistent flow of audience participation and the “yeses” will take care of themselves.
I felt compelled to share this because I am finding so many sales folks of late trying to sift through prospects, talking themselves in an out of making contacts rather than gaining personal appearances Now I know it is important to qualify your prospects. I know we need to maximize our efforts. That is not what I am saying. I am saying believe in who you are and what you do so that all you need to be successful is someone to see.
Believe me; I have had my share of “no’s”. I know that not everyone will say yes. So what keeps me going is the constant drive to gain an audience for my next opportunity. So now when I hear “no” I immediately look for the next opportunity for someone to say yes, and the next and the next…get the picture? The sooner you grasp this concept, the more successful you will be. Speaking of success…
None of us are entitled to success; we are entitled to pursue success and that comes with opportunity and how we handle failure. When I fall short of my goal or when things don’t go as I planned, the only way to change my course is based upon what I do, not someone else. I spent a great deal of time and energy prospecting in a particular industry and after contacting all my initial prospects, it became clear there was not a match for what I offered and what they needed. To be truthful, they could get what they needed regarding training for free…a price I could not compete with. Rather than blaming or giving up, I simply found another industry or audience to prospect to and it has worked out quite nicely. I have found many more since! I think you get the point; seek the opportunity, seek an audience. Nothing fires me up more than someone saying yes to seeing me and jotting it down on my calendar! When they agree I don’t immediately try to predict how the meeting will go, I get ready for the opportunity because I know if they have a need or if I can create the desire for what I do, more times than not, they will say…you got, YES! Every day that has an appointment, has an opportunity!
So as I wrap this up, I want to encourage you if you are experiencing what I did early in my career, grasp the concept of seeking an audience rather than trying to predict an outcome, consistently seek the opportunity and the “yeses” will come. Finally make your day everyday by sharing with someone who you are and what you do because it does not get any better than that.
Successful selling everyone!