Prospecting Advice: You’re Trying Too Hard!
Posted by Mike Scher June 22, 2015 10:30:00 AM I went to the driving range the other day to work on my golf game (which needs a lot more work!). As I am hitting balls, I couldn’t help but notice the golf lesson going on in the stall next to me.
The golf pro / teacher was an older man and clearly a veteran of the game. His student was a young man he referred to as “Tyler”. Tyler was about 13 or 14 years of age and based on his build, he was clearly an athlete.
As the lesson went on, Tyler was getting visibly frustrated because the ball wasn’t going very far or very straight. After every bad shot, you could see Tyler grip the club tighter and swing harder……..which predictably resulted in another “banana” ball.
This went on for about for about 15 minutes and it looked like Tyler was ready to throw a club, when the golf pro said, let’s take a break. The pro took Tyler aside and said, “Son, you are trying too hard to hit the ball”. Tyler responded “isn’t that the idea? The golf pro responded “the idea is to hit the ball long and straight. To do that, all you need to do is make a good golf swing and the ball just gets in the way”.
After going chugging some water, Tyler got back to the stall, stepped up to the ball, made a nice easy swing and the ball went long and straight. Tyler was amazed at what he had just done.
This episode got me to thinking about how less can be more and how people approach their prospecting efforts. We have worked with over 20,000 sales reps across six continents. The one thing they have in common is the quest to have more meaningful conversations with the right people.
Like Tyler, these people are all sales “athletes”. They possess the capability to be successful, but in the prospecting endeavor, they just don’t see the results.
One reason for the lack of success is the inordinate amount of time spent on “research”. They go to the company website, read the financial reports, review analyst calls and scour LinkedIn. All this work is done in order to be “prepared” to handle any objection or retort that prospect may throw at them.
In my opinion, they are much like Tyler….they are trying too hard. You see, Tyler was successful when he tried not to do too much. When he trusted the advice of the seasoned golf pro by focusing on making a good swing versus hitting the ball, the effort was less and the result was greater.
When prospecting, you need to perform solid outreach. While you cannot make these people pick up the phone any more than they are going to; you can leave effective voice messages, send targeted emails, perform effective navigation within an account and communicate and consistent message.
Just don’t try to force the issue. Trust that your message will get socialized and you in the proper way and you will get the results like Tyler.
Sometimes, less is more.