A producer will either use service work as an excuse not to prospect, or use a pipeline full of prospects as a valid reason to hand off service work. Which kind are you?

This isn’t new

The most consistent challenge I hear from producers is finding quality prospect opportunities. That’s not a sometimes challenge or a post-ACA challenge. It’s an always and forever challenge. We all know sales is a difficult and scary job and that prospecting is the scariest and most difficult part of that difficult and scary job. Always has been, always will be.

But it’s part of the job you signed up for, so get over it and quit making excuses.

In addition to quitting excuses, quit making a difficult job even more difficult than it needs to be.

There are only so many ways to put opportunities in your pipeline: client referrals, center of influence referrals, cold calling, door knocking, email campaigns, and inbound strategy.

Did you notice that “sitting and waiting” isn’t on the list?

What’s the point?

Which FINALLY gets me to the real point of this post. Your already busy week is about to get totally crazy. And, unfortunately, it won’t be crazy with new business opportunities. It will be crazy as you try to hold on for dear life to the business you already have.

I get it. It’s extremely important to get your clients renewed. You have an entire team dedicated to helping you keep what you have. But, that entire team is also depending on you to be the one who helps bring in future opportunities.

You’ve likely already been preparing in 3rd quarter for 4th quarter. And if you’re not careful, 4th quarter will be all about keeping what you have, which means it will take you a good chunk of 1st quarter to recover.

Sarcastic Question - Guess what that leaves you with?

Honest answer – An empty pipeline. And, given that next year will also have a 4th quarter, a dangerously short sales year.

Invest in your (not so distant) future

We all know the first rule of successfully saving for retirement is to pay yourself first. Prospecting is the investment you make in your TEAM’s future to ensure its success. And, like preparing for retirement, you must pay yourself first… with time on the calendar.

As soon as you hit “like” and “share” on this article – ; ) – go open up your calendar and block out some amount of time every working day until the end of the year (yes, I’m totally serious) for prospecting time. Your to-the-end-of-the-year calendar isn’t completely filled in yet so I know there’s time— time you need to commit to prospecting and then schedule around (again, TOTALLY serious here).

If you’re really working the 12-14 hour days you tell me you are in 4th quarter, you can’t convince me there isn’t at least 30 minutes in each of those days better spent on prospecting.

Photo by Mizar219842013

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