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!