Selling is a difficult and scary job. That’s why most people want NOTHING to do with it. And, that’s okay for them; they choose other jobs.
And most would agree that prospecting is the most difficult and scariest part of that difficult and scary job. That’s why most producers come up with countless reasons to avoid their prospecting responsibilities. But, that’s not okay for you.
You chose this job and prospecting is part of it; you have to own the responsibility.
Pick a path
There is an old saying that people only embrace the pain of change once the pain of the status quo becomes greater. I guess it’s sort of a “path of least resistance” thing.
I think this same saying applies to prospecting. You will only embrace your prospecting responsibility when you realize avoiding it is the scarier option. And, if you are the responsible professional I’m sure you are, there are at least four things scarier than making that call.
You let yourself down
If you think making that call is tough today, wait until you have to overcome another day/week/month of the accumulated head trash that is inevitable when your “self-talk” has you kicking the can. If you make prospecting calls a part of your daily routine, you may never truly like it, but it will get less scary and you will definitely like the results.
You let your team down
You have an entire team depending on you making that call. They know it’s scary to make it. That’s why they chose another position in the agency. But their (and their familys’) future opportunities, continued employment, bonuses, and livelihood depend on you making the call.
Is that a heavy weight for you to have to carry? Yep!! But you signed up for it. If you want a little motivation to pick up the phone, look your teammates in the eyes next time you walk through the office and remind yourself how much they depend on you making that next call.
You let your clients down
I wrote an entire article (Your Cowardly Ways) on this recently, but there is an additional way you let your clients down that I didn’t mention. If you don’t make the call to ask your clients for TARGETED introductions, you deny them the opportunity to do a good deed.
It’s human nature that we like to do good things for people who have done good things for us. When you don’t ask your best clients to do you the favor of introducing you to a couple of their best business relationships, you deny them an opportunity to return the help you have provided them.
You let that “future opportunity” down
I hear honest feedback from producers all the time telling me they are reluctant to “interrupt” someone by asking them for a meeting.
They are usually taken aback a little when I tell them it is their responsibility (beyond their job description) to make that call. It’s true. I remind them they have knowledge and an understanding of how to deal with problems that can have terribly negative impacts on their business, problems the prospect may not even realize they have.
When you possess the knowledge that can improve, or even save, someone else’s business, you have a responsibility to share that information. And, if you haven’t educated yourself to that point, your own business is in trouble.
The universe knows what she’s doing
The great thing about this life we get to live is that the universe keeps everything balanced. Sure, you have a job that's scarier and more difficult than most. But, when you stand up to the fear and tackle the difficulty, you also get to enjoy rewards beyond what most anyone else gets to experience.
I mean, how cool is it that when you own the responsibility:
- You build an inner confidence that you can take on anything.
- You can look your teammates in the eye and know they have opportunities they wouldn’t have if not for you.
- You have the type of relationship with your clients that only happens when you are close enough to ask one another for help.
- You improve, or maybe even save, businesses, and the countless lives that depend on their success, because of the knowledge you accumulated and shared.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty freakin’ cool.
And I don’t know about you, but missing out on that scares the hell out of me.
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