5 Ways to Make Prospecting an Exciting Challenge

5 Ways to Make Prospecting an Exciting Challenge

By Tony Cole

  1. Make Bigger Goals
  2. Improve Your Skills
  3. Develop a Unique Approach
  4. Have a Compelling Reason
  5. SW3N

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By Tony Cole, CLO, Anthony Cole Training Group

If you have a product that everyone needs and wants, then prospecting can, and should be, fun. Short of that, prospecting is hard work that requires constant practice, flexibility, skill and consistent execution.

Welcome to Sales Brew.

When I was a sales rep for Nautilus Exercise Equipment in Dallas, Texas, prospecting was fun. Almost everyone was willing to see me. Back in the mid-80s, if you were going to create a fitness center for your YMCA, convert space in your racquet club to a fitness room, or if you were in a small town like Hays, Kansas, and you were looking to open a fitness facility, then you always called the guy from Nautilus. That was me! Prospecting was easy and it was fun!

I moved to Cincinnati with my wife, Linda, and our son, Anthony, in 1987. We wanted to be close to family. I called a good friend of mine, Dave Zimmerman, looking for a job. Dave was the newly hired General Agent for National Life of Vermont Insurance Company. Dave sold me on the idea of becoming an insurance agent. Prospecting was no longer fun.

The difference between the two types of sales is simple: In one case, every prospect had a perceived notion that they needed to have my product – Nautilus Exercise Equipment – and so they wanted it. With insurance, very few people believed they needed it. They already had life insurance, group health insurance and group disability insurance at work and therefore virtually nobody wanted to talk to me.

To have the most fun prospecting, make sure you have a product that everyone needs – or believes they need (like an iPhone 5C) – and then be the exclusive provider of that product so that they just have to buy it from you!

Done. Thanks for your time… have a perfect day!


Well, not really. Hold on, I’m still here.

I know you must be thinking, “Is that it?!?”   Well, yes, that is it, but hardly anyone is in that position today. So… what do you do to make prospecting something you WANT to do knowing that you HAVE to do it? Here are 5 things to help you. How well you execute these 5 things will determine how much fun you ultimately have:

  1. Have goals that are bigger than you have now so that you have to make more money, have more time or have more freedom to make choices. Make sure the goals are written, that you have a plan to accomplish the goals and you are accountable to the goals. Additionally, the goals have to be non-negotiable.
  2. Improve your skills. I don’t care how you do it, but chances are your phone skills for phone prospecting are really, really bad or rusty at best because you just don’t use them enough.
  3. Develop an approach on the phone that sets you apart. Our #1 rule for all sales people is this: Don’t look, act or sound like everyone else! When you read or role play your script and you sound like everyone else, then change something.
  4. Have a compelling reason for people to LISTEN. Don’t get hung up on your markets, your brand or your elevator pitch. What I want you to focus on is delivering a statement or comment that is compelling enough for people to listen. Don’t assume that, just because you love your product or service, everyone else in the market place feels the same way. Focus on the problems you solve rather than the product you sell.
  5. SW3N – Always keep this in mind. Understand that you are an inconvenience to the person that you just called, unless your timing is perfect. So, you need to understand SW3N. And it is this simple – “Some will, some won’t, so what?… Next.” When you get rejected, don’t take it personally; move on and have fun!

As always, thank you and have a perfect day.