Close, but No Cigar

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A colleague was talking today about how she’s attracting the wrong kind of prospects.  She’s doing the right things:  She’s got the elevator speech; she’s defined how she wants to work with people; her prices are reasonable; she’s got a mailing list and the chamber memberships, the e-newsletter, and the references, etc, etc.  Still, the customers that are coming to her don’t fit her “right’ profile.

Why do you suppose that is?  Has it ever happened to you?

You may have noticed that our image of ourself is reflected in the folks we attract to us. My colleague wants to change her client mix, but she has to change herself first. How will she do this? Where would you start?

My friend has what it takes to do business in exactly the way she wants to do it. She’s attracting the wrong prospects because she’s not thinking big enough, she’s compromising and settling. She’s saying yes when she should be saying no.

What specific steps can she take to improve her prospects?

  1. Articulate in careful detail who she wants her customers to be. Be ridiculously precise: where do they live, what resources do they have, what are their problems, how have they solved them in the past? What will impact their decision-making? Keep going until you can’t think of anything else.
  2. Now, why would they want to do business with me? In other words, what is my unique set of characteristics/talent/skills/products that will eliminate their pain, move them forward, and make them look like heroes to their friends and business associates?
  3. Knowing all this, how will I show up for them TODAY? How will I tune my self image, my prospect list, my marketing, and my communication approach so it will ring true for them?
  4. Am I willing to walk away? My friend will never achieve her goals if she’s handcuffed by fear. Saying no to the wrong customers gives energy, focus and power to relationships with the right customers.
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In the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones takes the step out over the abyss as a “leap of faith”. As business people and salespeople we take these leaps every day…if we don’t, we’re doomed to more of the same.

Close, but not quite what we had in mind. 

Lee Porter 

Lee Porter 

This blog appears on Lee Porter's "Everybody Sells" at NCBR.com