I spent my formative years in ballet class. While other kids went out to play, I went to ballet class. In high school while others attended after-school activities or hung out together, I went to ballet class. By my mid-teens I was taking class five or six times a week or maybe even more. This was a habit that continued until injuries sidelined my professional dancing career. This habit of taking a ballet class every day was not mine alone.
Every dancer, professional or those seeking to become professional, takes class every day. It’s a habit, it’s a reality, it goes with the job. It is impossible to dance professionally without taking class. Even the stars, Barishnykov, for example, take class every day. In my late teens I had some personal crises that stopped me from going to class everyday.
At one of my rare appearances in class, my teacher asked where I had been. I told her what was going on in my life. She said to me, “That’s no reason not to take class. You have to take class everyday, no matter what.” Sounds harsh doesn’t it? But she was right. Not taking class only gave me something else to feel bad about. When I started my sales training business, I used that same “no matter what” approach to prospecting. I prospected every day. I started out with absolutely no corporate connections. I was a ballet dancer, I only knew other ballet dancers.
I did, however, know how to prospect. On and off for years my “day job” had been telemarketing. I began to prospect the same way I learned to take class, every day, no matter what. Five years later I have a thriving business. Even today I continue to prospect every day, while perhaps not for as many hours. Every day brings some prospecting activity, no matter what. So how does the busy entrepreneur, busy owner or sales professional find the time to prospect every day, no matter what? The answer is simple, put it in your calendar. Schedule time in your calendar every day for prospecting activity. At the scheduled time put aside what you are doing and prospect. Do not take other calls, do not work on other projects, do not allow interruptions.
Simply prospect. When the time you have scheduled is over, stop prospecting and go on with your other tasks. Schedule appointments with yourself to prospect and keep those appointments. We get angry and upset when prospects miss appointments. Ask yourself, “Why is it all right to miss an appointment with myself?” Prospecting success (just like learning to dance) comes over time. In order to keep your sales funnel full you must constantly be on the lookout for leads and prospects. By keeping your funnel full you avoid the boom and bust cycles that so many entrepreneurs and sales professionals experience. To be successful you must engage in some prospecting activity everyday, no matter what. It’s a habit, it’s a reality, it goes with the job. © 2006 Wendy Weiss.
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