Monday, June 30, 2008

The Principles of Prospecting

By definition, Prospecting is Something expected; a possibility, and a Prospect is A potential customer, client, or purchaser. A candidate deemed likely to succeed.

This concept of prospecting is not new to the world of sales and finance. In fact in my experience in residential real estate, my business did not exist without the principles of prospecting. In order to reach my goal of a certain number of closed deals per month, I determined that I had to contact 25 *new* people per week, either by phone, email or face to face. In addition to that I sent out 200 direct mail marketing pieces per month to current clients, potential clients as well as potential referrals.

From there it became a little more involved, separating soft leads from hard leads, cold contacts from warm contacts, etc. Anyway, that was the basic concept of prospecting in my business.

This concept of prospecting works in any situation wherein you hope to gain a potential client or customer. Missionaries use prospecting in trying to seek out potential church members. So, I thought, why wouldn't the principles of prospecting work in dating? Then I realized that they already do. True, I wouldn't go as far as to send out direct mail marketing or anything like that. (Could you even imagine???)

And by the way, why does everyone "love the outdoors" and "long walks on the beach"? I don't know about you, but if I was going to be on the beach for a long time, there are other things I can think of doing besides taking long walks. Besides, walking in the sand for a long time just makes my calves hurt.

So, back to the Principles of Prospecting in dating. In talking to Hat Dude, we both decided that in order to fill our Prime Time slots with the best possible leads, we need to prospect throughout the week to find those leads. Just like in business, we can use various forms of prospecting. It can be face-to-face, phone calls, emails, or from referrals. We both agree gaining leads through referrals is the least effective prospecting method.

It is in this method we end up waiting for those around us - our friends, family, and coworkers - to find our leads for us, and then set us up; typically a blind date. First of all, you have to ask yourself, How well do I trust my friends and family to choose someone I may actually like??? Also, depending on the person they choose to set you up with may indicate what your friends and family actually think of you.

Case in point - Camaro Creep! (yuck) Shortest date in my entire life. The whole thing lasted all of three minutes, thanks to Desperate Housewife's quick response to the cryptic text I had sent her. On my way home, I called Pocahontas and told her "thanks, but no thanks" on any future referrals. Camaro Creep was enough for me not to trust her instincts anymore.

So for now, I will continue prospecting on my own, running all leads past my "business partner", Hat Dude. If the lead meets partnership approval, then phone skills are put to the test, and finally the appointment is made. Based on the presentation and sales pitch during that initial meeting, the prospect is either turned cold and referred to as "dead" or it is "turned over" and added to the list of "current clients" with whom future dates are made. By the way, one part of the "sales pitch" includes who pays for the first date. All I can say dudes, is if you even want a chance at a second date, you're gonna have to pay for the first.

So far, our Principles of Prospecting are off to a good start, though we are still in the beginning stages. Hopefully, through continuous tracking of empirical data of turn-over rate and return on investment, we will improve our techniques and methods over time.

So, if you think you can overcome the fear of rejection, then prospecting may just be for you. And now you'll know the truth when you call and ask me what I am up to, and I simply reply, "prospecting".

Open for business, baby!


Mel and Byde said...

Prospecting...that's like panning for gold right...still applies:) Happy Prospecting. I certainly will not suggest a "blind date." I assume your "business hours" are 24/7 :")

Ruthykins said...

where did you make that ad? it's awesome!

greenolive said...

What's the story of Camaro Creep, or is it not even worth telling?

Hat_Dude said...

Partnership Approval is key. Many a time I have been prospecting and thought that I have found a good lead. But after running the name, picture, and brief contact information by my business partner I had been sorely mistaken. Ok folks, bad dates happen. We just feel this partnership, in conjuction with "The Principles of Prospecting", has helped eliminate a small portion of those bad dates. Happy prospecting! Hat Dude

mrbusdr said...

I like to rules you have come up with. If you stick to those rules you should be fine.

greenolive said...

Wow a special appearance by Hat Dude himself. You've got guts to come on here with that handle. I have to give you props for that.