Prospecting partners are more prosperous

Dear busy professional

We need to talk about something important.

You’ve been insanely busy for almost two years now. I can see the bags under your eyes and I know you’ve had more than your fair share of late nights.

And while you’ve had great success (congratulations on your massive profits this year), we’ve got a big problem on our hands.

Your pipeline is going to dry up.

It probably doesn’t feel like it right now – demand for professional services is at an all time high, your team have massive projects in the new year, and everybody is celebrating record revenues.

But in the chaos of COVID, something important fell by the wayside.

Prospecting.

We’ve spent so much time doing the work, we’ve stopped doing the work that leads to more work.

We’ve stopped picking up the phone.

We haven’t had the coffee catch ups or the long lunches.

It’s hard to ‘network’ remotely and frankly, who has time for Zoom calls with people you don’t know?

All those things you normally do to build pipeline have evaporated.

And as Warren Buffet said:

It’s only when the tide goes out we see who has been swimming naked.

Riding the wave

The pandemic has created huge demand for knowledge workers. No doubt about that.

But how long can you continue riding the wave?

At some point, you’re going to need to create your own momentum.

You’ll need to get out into the market and build your pipeline.

That, my friend, is prospecting.

Prosperous prospecting

Jeb Blount, author of bestseller Fanatical Prospecting, says there are four core objectives of prospecting:

  1. Set an appointment
  2. Gather information and qualify
  3. Close a sale
  4. Build familiarity.

While this sales lingo feel weird in a professional services environment, it gets right to the heart of building business.

All successful lawyers and accountants have time in their weekly calendar for these activities.

They pick up the phone to book meetings, check in to ask general questions about a client’s business, send emails to follow up enquiries, or go out to drinks to create connection.

But for many professionals, prospecting has experienced a precipitous drop in the last year or so.

It’s time to schedule some prospecting in your diary.

The daily habit

The simplest way to add more prospecting to your world is to create a daily habit.

It’s a deceptively simple habit. But it is one that many successful professionals use to build business.

Three phone calls a day.

That’s it.

Commit to making three prospecting phone calls a day, every working day. You’ll be surprised how much it can transform your business.

Each phone call can have one of the four objectives listed above.

Prospecting in practice

Your prospecting calls might look like this:

  1. Call a lapsed or previous client to organise a meeting to discuss goals for the new year.
  2. Call an existing client to learn more about their perspective on a new law or issue that’s a hot topic in their industry
  3. Call a prospective client to follow up the capability statement or proposal you submitted last week
  4. Call a new client and get to know them using the ‘FORE’ method: ask about their family, occupation, recreation and enjoyment.

Make it happen

Make prospecting your priority for the next 6–12 months and watch your pipeline grow.

While everyone else is busy doing the work, find the time to bring in the work.

That’s how you go from busy to prosperous.

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