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Prospecting Lesson: Don't try this at home

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 8/23/23 7:14 AM

Prospecting Lesson

This chapter may be the whole reason you buy this book!

“When you hear the word "prospecting," what images and actions come to mind?

Do you think of vendors standing in their booths, calling out to you? Does the thought of cold calling make you cringe? Do you recall memories of your last uncomfortable networking conversation?

In case you haven't figured it out yet in this book, you are not alone. Thirty-one percent of professional sellers struggle with finding new business, according to Objective Management Group. The constant need to find new people to talk to can be mentally exhausting—because we make it more complicated than it needs to be.

My kids love to remind me of the time that I had to pick them up from school early because of an incoming blizzard. Because it was a forty-five-minute drive one way, I planned to use the hour and a half there and back to do my prospecting calls with my Bluetooth attached to my ear.
The kids piled into the car, and as we drove, I made several calls, leaving a voicemail message when they didn't pick up. The snow was getting deeper outside, but we were almost home, and I had only one call left to make. 

You must hustle to get new business, I thought. And if this is what it takes, this is what I'll do."

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 "Hello, this is Ken."
 Oh crap, he answered! I waved frantically at the kids to shush, using my best wide-eyed stern mom look.
 "Hi Ken, this is Carole Mahoney from Mahoney Internet Marketing. How are you today? I am calling because I offer online marketing services for small businesses so they can get more customers from their websites. I do everything from social media to SEO to email marketing to Google Analytics. My Think, Do, Review framework will grow your business because people will be able to find you better than any Yellow Pages ad…"
 "Yeah, I'm gonna have to stop you right there. We don't have a website right now. Thanks for calling."
 "Oh, you don't have a website? That's great because I do that too. How are you getting customers now?"

I don't remember what Ken said after that because my car was no longer moving forward; in fact, we had slid sideways and backward down the hill in front of our house.
With the kids shouting, "Mom, Mom, MOM !" and the dog barking in the hatch behind them, I told Ken I would call him right back.

Fifteen minutes later, with the kids safely in the house, I called Ken back and got his voicemail. 
Maybe I need a better voicemail script?

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This chapter may be the whole reason you bought this book.

Maybe because you want to avoid this scenario (who wouldn't?), or maybe because you want to know how to make an exchange like this go your way. I can't tell you how many times I used to think, "If someone could tell me what I need to do and promise me that it'll work, then I will do it!"

How many books, podcasts, and other pieces of content have you consumed with that same goal? How many acronyms have you followed in a process that brought you marginally different results? And how often did you find a reason why it wouldn't work for you? 
Just because we know what to do doesn't mean we will do it. We know that eating more vegetables and getting more exercise is how we get healthy, but how many of us do? In that, and this, our mindsets and thought patterns get in the way.

That is why we started with working on your mindsets in the previous chapter before we got into what actions you need to take with buyers. Now that you are more aware of the mindsets and beliefs that you need to work on to successfully sell with your buyer, it's time to get into your buyer's head and learn everything you can about them.”

-Excerpt from my upcoming Buyer First Book

Three Learnings from this Chapter:

Unexpected Situations: The encounter with Ken during my prospecting calls was a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of such interactions. As I enthusiastically introduced myself and my services, I wasn't prepared for him to answer the call, catching me off guard, with my kids in the car and chaos unfolding around me. Thinking on your feet and adjusting your approach is vital to keeping the conversation on track and making the most out of every interaction. But I don't recommend making these calls while driving in a blizzard in the company of your kids and dog. 
Action vs. Knowledge: We tend to seek guaranteed solutions and follow processes without achieving significantly different results. This highlights the gap between knowing what to do and actually taking action.
Procrastination: The avoidance of discomfort or difficulty fuels this behavior. Individuals grappling with procrastination might find it difficult to manage time effectively, prioritize tasks, and maintain a consistent work rhythm. The challenge lies in overcoming the tendency to opt for short-term comfort over long-term success and cultivating strategies to boost motivation, self-discipline, and focus in order to break free from the cycle of delay and enhance overall effectiveness.

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Topics: prospecting, sales books, Buyer First