Every client you have has – at some point – been a prospect. Makes no difference if this person was a friend, coworker, peer or perfect stranger prior to engaging your services or buying your product.
The Spark and Hustle event I recently attended here in Atlanta, was about breaking out into the business world as a female entrepreneur. Thus, a lot of the talks were focused around sales.
I really enjoyed hearing Joyce Bone of Millionaire Moms thoughts on this. Her statement, “Work where they work. Go where they go,” gives new meaning to the phrase “soccer moms.” I just envisioned all these soccer moms rallying around while the kids are playing, multitasking as they watch and cheer on their kids while networking! (Gotta love moms, huh?) Couple that with her next comment, “When dealing with prospects, be pleasantly persistent,” and you can see why the “mom” force has such great success on the entrepreneurial front!
However, when you’re not a mom, you have to find these opportunities in other ways. According to Robyn Spizman, you must “put the muscle into your hustle with the 5 by 5 rule: make 5 cold calls every day by 5:00”! For me, the definition of a cold call implied making phone calls. Given that I spend so much time on the phone with my current clients, this is something I don’t always relish. So, I have expanded my approach well beyond the phone by creating a new definition of a cold call: it’s any new contact I make – anywhere – whether it be at the grocery store, a friend’s dinner party, or a restaurant. It reminds me of the Organic Networking System that Debby Stone and I co-created years ago, when I was more heavily involved with our company, Corner Office Coaching. It’s about how to naturally develop relationships by doing what you enjoy and being who you are, thus creating a flourishing professional network and enhancing business development skills. At the time, I didn’t make the connection about cold calls, but I am glad I finally did – it feels liberating!
Granted, it doesn’t always feel comfortable to just start chatting it up with folks in the grocery aisle. You have to find a way to shed new light on something. I was thinking about what Taryn Pisaneschi said about this: “When networking, set a goal and have one thing that you are promoting that day, remembering the bigger, less obvious solution that it provides.” If I go really basic with this idea and use the grocery store aisle analogy, you can buy a jar of spaghetti sauce for your pasta dish, yet the bigger, less obvious solution it also provides is 2 servings of vegetables that are good for your health. With this pattern of thinking, you have turned the typical, “this has a huge amount of carbs” problem into a “this is a really health solution for me” solution. (Ok… that was a little wonky… but you get the point.)
Think about what you’re offering in the way of a product and service, and give it a new perspective for a prospect. Show him/her a side of this product or service that has been overlooked. I’m pretty sure you’re going to find there’s a lot more to what you offer than meets the average “eye.” And a lot more interest in it, too!
Note: This is one blog post in a series of them that I’ll be publishing here periodically about the insights I gleaned from the aforementioned Spark and Hustle conference. It is my hope that these posts will not only inform you, but also inspire you to take action on making your dreams real, especially if your dreams include becoming an entrepreneur. Perhaps with some spark and hustle, we can all profit from our passions!