Frivolous Summer Prospecting Idea
I included this advice in a Short Attention Sales Tip a few weeks ago, but I want to repeat it here as I really think the idea's got merit …
The idea is simply this: Call three to five random people on the phone each week all summer long.
Back story: Funerals for both my father and mother in the past three years were the only occasions I had to visit with distant relatives who were once close cousins. I made a promise to myself to check in with them more frequently. Soon, I ran out of cousins. So, I started calling old friends, people I haven't spoken with for years. The resulting conversations were extraordinary and completely unexpected.
Back to the idea …
Pick up the phone and place a call, bringing with you no agenda whatsoever other than to catch up. Ask people what's going on in their lives. Do more listening than talking (very important). Talk about their future.
There are four sets of people you should include in this exercise:
- Past customers
- Current customers
I cannot predict or promise what will come from these calls other than to say it will be extraordinary and quite possibly magical. You will learn so much from your customer base, both past and present, that you would never have gotten anywhere else.
Do you want to know where to take your business next? These calls will provide the answer as you listen to the concerns clients have for their future.
Curious as to how you are doing with existing accounts? These calls will provide the answer there, too.
Need to gain entry into a difficult and possibly huge account? The conversations with your friends might get you there. Maybe they know someone who knows someone whose best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend, the one who heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going out with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 flavors last week, has a contact there.*
To be clear, you are not calling with any intended business purpose. The true and honest intent must be simply to catch up. I'm just saying that while you are doing the right thing (and you are doing the right thing), a magical business opportunity could emerge. Is it frivolous from a prospecting standpoint? Possibly. But then again, you won’t know until you try it.
Start now. Pick up the phone and call the first person that came to mind when you first started reading this blog.
*Thank you for the help in getting this right, Google.