Prospect like a TED talk – or the Pope

by Erika Cannon
[email protected]

We’re all mortals. That means we can only absorb three things. Why do you think successful TED Talks – and the Pope, by the way – only make three points? Three things are memorable and doable.

And in prospecting, the third thing (perseverance) is really the second thing, over and over.

So it’s really two things: data and technique.

Rinse and repeat.

Data: Notice I didn’t say exact data. Data isn’t exact, because people are exact. In fact, people are messy, so data can be messy, too. In fact, if anyone tries to sell you a perfect, exact list, laugh at them, and move on to the next vendor. The only thing that will make your list good, better, effective, is the technique you use to work it.

Technique: The technique is a combination of technology, tools, style and research you use to work your list. This is more than three things, but since I’m lumping it under technique, it counts.

  • Use some type of email tool that will help you watch, track and report electronic activity. This will help you prioritize which contacts to expend individual energy on.
  • Use a calendar to remind you which individuals to followup with. I don’t expect you to remember anything, and you shouldn’t have to. That’s why we have electronic calendars.
  • Write short emails. 3 sentences. Don’t flatter yourself to think people have time to read more.
  • Write about your prospect. People don’t care about what you do, or who you are. They want to know what you know about them, and how you can help them make more money.
  • Research individuals. Your email tool will tell you who’s been to your website. Why didn’t they call you immediately? They’re busy, and they’re not convinced you care about them yet. So show them some love. Look them up, send them 3 sentences about how you can help them.
  • Link In to them. They may not believe you’re real yet. So use the business gold standard of social media networking. Don’t sell to them. Just send an invite. They can look at you, read about your work history and determine that you’re real and valuable to them.
  • Call them. Hard to believe, but some people don’t respond to email, but may answer a call. Odds are slim, but it’s worth the effort. Just leave a voicemail, or, if you get them on the phone, ask to schedule a time to talk. Don’t start in on them. They weren’t expecting you, but may be agreeable to talk again later.

When you work through your data, it will become more accurate because you’ll scratch off those who aren’t interested, those who aren’t a fit and, ideally, those who become a customer.

Make this work part of your day. Just part. If you persist, you’ll be in the right place at the right time to have a conversation with your hottest prospect.


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