Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson
In seven weeks The Phone Lady will enter its ninth year of business – which both astonishes and delights me. All these years of teaching, coaching, networking and consulting allow me to confidently share with you why the majority of entrepreneurs and salespeople undermine their own success: they focus so much on current revenue, they “forget” to plant the seeds necessary for consistent revenue.
I do understand and empathize … but 2015 is fast approaching. What’s your revenue forecast? Have you done (or are you doing) what’s necessary to achieve it? And if not, why not?
The number one reason we do not achieve our revenue goals is … we abandon the discipline of prospecting. We get caught up in current projects and deadlines – everything from detailed proposals to client meetings to demonstrations to contracts … the list goes on. Entrepreneurs face a particular challenge; we didn’t start our businesses to prospect, we started our business to do what we love and nothing makes us happier than giving a client’s project our full attention.
But we do this at our own peril and in some cases our demise. Over the years the most common reason I’ve witnessed for a business to fail is … the sales team and/or owner ignored the sales cycle – allowed the company to struggle through long periods with inadequate revenue.
As the quote from Robert Louis Stevenson indicates, as salespeople and entrepreneurs we should judge our daily performance not by the revenue we’ve earned (Not that it isn’t lovely and of course congratulate yourself!), but by the prospecting we’ve done for tomorrow. This guarantees continued success.
When I catch myself lagging behind on my prospecting duties – which does happen. I can fall down the “immediate projects only” rabbit hole as easily as anyone else – I remind myself that my prospecting is important to my potential clients.
Let me say that again … your ability to prospect is important to your potential clients. Here’s why:
You cheat your potential clients out of making the best possible decisions for themselves if they do not, at the very least, know about you and what you can do for them.
Prospecting is not about selling – it’s about informing. In my case, when my potential clients sit down to make decisions about training, I want my information to be part of the discussion. They need to be aware of all their options, whether they choose to work with me or not.
In other words it is your obligation as a salesperson or entrepreneur to get your information out to your marketplace – period. No excuses.
During the coming weeks leading up to holiday quiet and New Year’s optimism, I’m going to share some answers to this question “How do I create a prospecting discipline for 2015?” Do chime in with your comments and thoughts and I’ll include them in upcoming posts.
Enjoy your PhoneWork everyone!
Looking for Volunteers
The Phone Lady has teamed up with Souls Harbour Rescue Mission for the next two weeks, helping them to qualify for a new kitchen so they can serve more of Halifax’s hungry and homeless in 2015. The Mission has qualified as a possible winner for Aviva Community Funds. Aviva is an insurance company that gives back to local communities by asking Canadians to vote on the projects they want supported.
I’m looking for volunteers to make a few phone calls to existing donors, to thank them for their support and also make them aware of the Aviva challenge and their ability to vote for the Mission. If you have 40 minutes to an hour to spare between now and December 1st, please get in touch. The majority of the calls will involve leaving a message. Scripting is provided.
Let’s help the Mission acquire a kitchen that will easily prepare 100 hot nutritious meals each day. Go to KitchenForSouls.com to find out more about voting and contact me if you can spare a wee bit of time for a few phone calls. It’ll be good practice for you! Thanks.
The Phone Lady On The Road
November 17 – Job Search Phone Skills, Team Work Cooperative and the WorkBridge, Halifax, NS
November 20 – Telephone Excellence, Funeral Service Association of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS
November 22 – Telephone Excellence: Customer Service and Sales, Johnson, Halifax, NS
November 25 – Effective Phone Communication Skills with OTC Insurance, Halifax, NS
November 30 – Telephone Excellence, Apple Self Storage, Toronto, ON
December 10 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre, Truro, NS
December 10 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, Volta Labs, Halifax, NS
January 13 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS
January 27 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC NOBL, New Glasgow, NS
January 29 – Telephone Excellence, Multicultural Career Group, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS
February 19 – Job Search Phone Skills, Team Work Cooperative and the WorkBridge, Halifax, NS
March 10 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC NOBL, New Glasgow, NS
June 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Cumberland, Amherst, NS