Just received a great comment on one of my prior posts which probably generated more feedback than any other blog I wrote, which was entitled, “Never Make Cold Calls Again” and More Lies Deceptive Marketers Are Feeding You. I felt it noteworthy to make it an official blog post to ensure you had an opportunity to read this as a headliner vs. a comment. And what a great time of the year to talk about cold calling and prospecting in terms of shopping for new customers! Here it is:
To your point on another name we can use to refer to the activity of prospecting or cold calling. In my book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling, I reference that we’ve all been prospecting for a lifetime. Here’s some irony and a twist in terms of how you can look at prospecting as well as another phrase for this activity.
The word, “prospecting” is synonymous with “searching, mining, seeking, and hunting.” If you’ve ever looked for a job, purchased a home, went shopping at the mall, or searched for your ideal soul mate or relationship, then you in fact have prospected. For example, if we were to break down the prospecting process you have used when shopping for holiday gifts, it may have looked something like this.
First, you identified what you wanted. You were clear about your objective. Then, you uncovered where you could find what you were looking for. Next, you found the resources or people who can provide the information you need to make an educated buying decision. Chances are, you then asked some questions to determine if what you found was, in fact, a good fit for you. Finally, if all of your criteria were satisfied, you made the decision to buy.
The only thing that’s different from this example and prospecting for new clients is this: At the end of the process it would be your prospect that would be making the purchasing decision rather than you. Other than that, the entire process is the same!
So to your point, instead of calling it “Cold Calling” or “Prospecting” what if we refer to this activity which we’re often reluctant to engaging in as “Shopping for Prospects.” I’ve shared this with many clients and have them put this phrase into their calendar rather than “Cold Call” when blocking out time for this activity. The result, it actually makes a big difference for them and they wind up doing it more frequently, now that we’ve associated this activity to something they’re more used to, as well as an activity that most of us find to be much more pleasurable.
What a perfect time of the year to reframe your thinking around an activity that many of us are doing now- so go shopping for those new customers today!