Prospecting Part 2 – Is it possible to love doing this?


I just finished my last phone call of the day yesterday at 4:50 p.m.  253 calls this week and 19 conversations.  Do I love doing this?  The answer is “No”.  Do I want to do this?  “Yes!” Like a consistent routine of exercise and proper eating I believe doing so will have a direct positive outcome on what I desire.   Second, I can do these things with Integrity!

If it is not clear to you how consistent prospecting or other measured activities driving direct buyer contact are key ingredients to lifelong sales success, I encourage you to invest the time in determining whether or not you believe it is true.   After 29 years in direct sales, I believe without any further convincing that my success as a sales person is defined by few greater factors than my ability to make personal contact with my buyer.

For this post I would like to spend a few minutes on what integrity in prospecting means. Let me start with another question; “Do you believe in the Golden Rule?”  It simply says, “treat others the way you want to be treated”. I believe it embodies correct principles that when followed, will guide me to the true life outcomes I most deeply seek.  Just like I cannot expect to defy gravity by walking on air, or a farmer cannot expect to be successful in cramming for the harvest, there are true north principles of behavior that govern consequences I cannot circumvent (positive or negative).

I am living in integrity when my mind, body and heart are acting in accordance with what my inner most world already knows to be true!

To explore this further, let me ask you some questions about your current view, or map of prospecting. Do you:

  • See it as a contest where the sole objective is to get agreement on what you want?
  • Hold your breath with every dial in anticipation of what you are going to blurt out before the reciever is slammed in your ear?
  • Believe there are acceptable fringe rules of engagement like telling white lies to get past a secretary, or calling cell phone numbers left for emergencies?

If you do, then even the best “can do attitude” will be sorely tested in consistently executing under these conditions.  Why?  This outlook, or manufactured world map of prospecting, provides a destination that is in discord with the “true north” map directed by the Golden Rule.   Even if you succeed in the verbal debate, get past the secretary, or close a deal, some part of your internal world will be resisting with every call.  “Our map is taking us in the wrong direction!”

In the next posting I will discuss some specific examples of what prospecting with integrity might look like.  Let me end this posting by leaving you with these thoughts:

  • Invest the time to determine what you believe about the importance of prospecting.
  • As a long term motivator and predictor of success at multiple levels, do you agree that a “can do attitude” pales in comparison to choosing to prospect with integrity?  Think about this in a quiet place.
  • Now with the right outlook and preparation, fire up that “can do attitude”. It’s still important! Prior to every call be your own personal coach.  Is this the prospective buyer I can help?!  Will this call be the one that gets me one step closer to that family vacation?

Your Salesman for life!


Thought on my Mind:
Thank You Stephen Covey. I will always be grateful.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Prospecting Part One


I want to start this post by saying Thank You. One of the great benefits of going through an exercise like this is that it reminds me of three related attributes I admire in every high performing salesperson; A passionate commitment to lifelong learning, evaluation, and application.

Let me begin by asking if you have heard about prospecting discussed in terms of these four stages of learning and execution?

1. Unconscious Incompetent – A salesperson  who “doesn’t know he doesn’t know” how to prospect!  Depending on outlook this might include a salesperson who has decided prospecting is not important.
2. Conscious Incompetent – A salesperson who “knows he doesn’t know” how to prospect and wants to learn!  I hope that some part of me remains in this stage and the next for all aspects of my life.
3. Conscious Competent – The salesperson in training. This is the one who is consistently practicing at making his learned prospecting skill sets proficient.
4. Unconscious Competent – This is the salesperson  that is so practiced at consciously developing her prospecting skills that she can execute perfectly without even thinking about it.

Let me stop for a moment to clarify my definition of prospecting as the process of personally hunting for and actively speaking with prospective buyers.  No, it does not include solely sending 500 emails unless this is part of a process that gets you into a forecastable number of conversations!

Now let’s make some observations about the learning stages just introduced and prospecting.  First, as a sales person, “Do you think prospecting is important?” If you think it is, “How vigilant are you in planning and execution?”   To answer this objectively,  “Are you are looking at your metrics?”

If you are not a consistent prospector (I have been in this category) I encourage you as a fellow salesperson to think about why that is.  More on this topic in the next posting.

If you are a consistent prospector and have refined your approach (research, clearly defined objective, execution, tracking, adjustment  and consistent achievement of call targets), I humbly salute you!

If you are in the unconscious competent category, I encourage you to continue to evaluate your metrics and determine if your approach can be adjusted to increase effectiveness (improve ratio of calls to conversations). Do this at least on a weekly basis. Technology and resulting options are changing rapidly. There are no substitutes to personal contact. The right questions is, “What can be used to enhance it?”

Whatever the outcome of your personal assessment, I encourage fearless reflection and self-honesty.  Do not decide that consistent, prioritized prospecting is not important   because you don’t like it!  I believe that many including myself are tempted to do this. With two full rings, no voice message, and a 7.5% conversation rate, I found that I can make and log up to 50 phone calls in an hour.  8 hours of uninterrupted phone work a week means 400 calls and 30 conversations!

Whatever your approach and execution tactics, personal engagement is the goal. Without it you are not helping your customers buy!

Is it possible to love prospecting? Join me next week for more on this topic.

Your Salesman for life.


Quote on my mind:

An unexamined (sales) life is not worth living!

Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing!


Being a salesman for life, let me begin with a question, “When the world around you is good, how are YOU feeling inside?”  How about when the world around you is bad?

I ask you to reflect on the following thought.  The impact of the very same world conditions will effect my outlook of the world (good or bad) based on how “I” feel in moment I am having the experience.

There are many layers to this topic. For this posting I want to ask you to think about where the power is in the “Buying” exchange?  Drum roll please!  At the end of the day, the only world view that is important is that of my customer.  In the exchange between the salesman and the customer, I don’t “Sell”; My customer makes the decision to “Buy”.  In terms of solving a problem, I don’t “Do” anything; I help my Customer “Do” something!

I encourage you to take a look at your written correspondence.  If you have the opportunity to record a conversation, consider doing so.  If you are open to the idea, make a conscious effort to use the word “YOU” as often as you can.  If you need to use the word “I” or “My” look for a way to connect it to “Help You”.

This exercise requires constant vigilance! I believe it’s worth the effort.

Remember, at the end of the day my customer does not care about me or my product. The only thing my customer cares about is how “she is going to meet her need”.  My job, as I see it, is to fully understand what that need is and to earn the opportunity to help her meet it.

Your Salesman for Life!


Quote on my mind:
“Those things that are most personal, are most general.”

Inspired By Gabby

Lake George


My name is Jim Morgan, I am 56 years old; Husband, father, beginning Russian speaker, family photographer, developing musician/vocalist and grinning ear to ear.  “Why?” In naming my blog I am aware of how proud and excited I am in sharing such a big part of who I am.   In this sharing I humbly allow for the thought that what I say in some way brings value to your journey in being not only the best salesperson, but the best person you can be.

Yes, my name is Jim Morgan.  More than a friend of Bill, I am a salesman for life!

I have found that my constrained attention span (some would say ADD) has made disciplined reading difficult.  I have always, however, loved to listen and learn.

In coming posts I will be sharing observations from my 29 years as a software salesman and as a human being sharing this true life adventure with you.

My hope is that you live long and prosper!

Your salesman for life!


Quotes on my mind:

  • “Let every encounter with another be an opportunity to lift that person up”
  • “You see the world today by what you carry in your heart”