Prospecting 101: “I Know What I Know”
Prospecting is the lifeblood of your business. Nothing feels better than turning a prospect into a client. And few things cause more anxiety then realizing you don’t have anyone on your prospect list – you are dead in the water.
Finding qualified prospects is a major part of your professional life.
I believe prospecting has never been more difficult. People are skittish. The economy is not great. And there has never been more competition for your products and services.
Old tried-and-true prospecting techniques just don’t seem to work the way they used to.
It’s time to add a little behavioral science to your prospecting skills.
Humans are emotional. Since I assume your prospects are human, you need to remember that most of their decisions are unconscious – controlled by their feeling brain. In addition, remember that the feeling brain is really concerned with only two things, staying alive and passing on the genes.
Spending time with you to learn about your products and services might not be high on your prospect’s “important things to-do list.” In fact, their unconscious brain might be telling them to simply “run away.”
And that is not a good outcome.
Remember this when you engage a prospect:
You and your offering are instantly scanned and assessed against what is “known to be true.” The fact that this “truth” is often biased and wrong is irrelevant.
Your prospect’s brain is not perfect. It is both prejudiced and biased. Past experiences become benchmarks or reference points for current decisions – often without all the relevant facts. As a result, your prospect’s preconceived perception of the truth gets in the way of making a good decision.
Here are some examples:
- “I’ll never own stocks. My dad lost his retirement in 2008.”
- “I once read an article about whole life insurance. The author said it was a sucker bet.”
- “I spent all last night researching this on the ‘net. I know I’m right.”
Here’s how I recommend you deal with the “I know what I know” prospect:
- This behavior as normal.
- Don’t challenge or confront your prospect’s perception of the “truth.” This is not the time nor the place to prove your superior knowledge and skills.
- Educate, emphasize, and relate.
- I know how you feel . . .
- I felt that way . . .
- This is what I found out . . .
- Offer a free report, article, or service that will help educate and inform. Help your prospect discover the “truth.”
- Your goal is to obtain permission to contact and/or set a meeting – not sell something.
Prospecting is a mind game. Learn the rules. Play well.