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Prospecting = EXCLUSIVE activity

No matter what you sell… no matter what your current forecast looks like… basically: no matter WHAT – sales and prospecting are EXCLUSIVE activities.
It may be more IMPORTANT to identify and get rid of those prospects and customers who are the antithesis of the ideal! (side note: that does mean you need to know what your ideal client profile looks like

To exclude means you are closing the door in order to keep someone out.

Some are easy: you know – lots of work, little payoff. As salespeople, we can identify them and typically only put up with the behavior (wasting OUR time, energy, & effort) for a short period. Then we figure it out, drop them like a hot potato and move on.
The customers I believe are the antithesis of ideal:

  • have H U G E potential (whatever that looks like in your business)
  • do just enough business to keep you interested
  • dangle business opportunities
  • ask great questions that WE perceive as interest in us, our products, our value
  • even worse, when you like them as a person or they’re fun to talk with

then they…..

  • bid the project out using the specifications YOU developed
  • blame not buying from you on “them”
  • drop off the face of the earth after you give them the final proposal

and just like any bad relationship…..

  • apologize later
  • tell you it was really, really close
  • “I” wanted to use you
  • give you details about their next project

PLUS give you a pity order (you know the little order to make you feel better)…..
Then there we are again at the top of the cycle.
Today – look for these leaches of time, drainers of energy, wasters of knowledge, THEN right now kick them out.
I’m not one to tell them what I’m doing – I just stop calling, take my name out of contention; if they call back someday (most don’t – they are wasting my competition’s time now) politely decline.
Don’t wait, think of all the time you will free up to spend with your ideal customers! Oh the fun you will have, the money you can make.
So never forget: It is as important to disqualify a prospect and save time as it is to keep trying to qualify them!

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