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  • Writer's picturebdkjenner

Rocket Fuel -Get out in the Pumpkin Patch

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

This Rocket Fuel is about the importance of regularly getting eyeball to eyeball with the people who potentially represent your next sale. In this excerpt from my book titled TOP Seller (available on Amazon) Bob Stephens is reflecting back on some advice he received from John Andrews, the manager who originally hired and trained him:

I remember back to when I first got started: I was expecting that John Andrews would want to see me every moment of every day so that he could make sure I was working. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Early in my care,er I was sitting in my office, flipping through some files, when John walked in. When he asked me what I was doing, I told him I was trying to find some new clients. John backed up outside my door and looked left down one hallway and right down the other. Then he stepped back into my office and whispered, “You know what, Bob? I have been in this office for years and not once have I seen a prospect walk up and down these halls looking for someone to write a contract. And you know what else? Today it looks like that’s still the case.” Before I could respond he continued. “I’ll give you another tip: if you’re looking for pumpkins… you better get in the pumpkin patch.” John then turned and walked away down the hall. I realized then and there that my success was not going to be measured by the number of hours I was in the office. While most bosses were looking over your shoulder to see if you were working, John looked at both your activities and your results. He didn’t care if he only saw you once a week as long as you could show you were out in the 'pumpkin patch' doing your job.

Over the years, with the pressures of a building clientele, I broke the habit of getting out of the office to meet new clients. I convinced myself I could be far more effective working in my office than I could be driving around visiting clients. Obviously, it didn’t quite work out that way.

Prospecting really is a ‘contact’ sport! To be successful you need to get ‘eyeball to eyeball’ with prospects and clients as often as you can. And in today's world of video chats, getting eyeball to eyeball couldn't be easier. But even if video isn't your thing, getting out of your office and into the environment of your prospect or client, allows you to identify more sales opportunities that you might normally miss. On top of that, there are also all those opportunities you can potentially identify driving to and from your appointment. The next time you are driving out to meet your "good" client, have a little contest with yourself. Grab your phone and take note of all the potential prospects you see along the way. After you have finished the original purpose of your meeting with your client, bring out your list and review it with them to see what they know about the names you have written on your list. Then, instead of making a beeline for the safe haven of your office, stop in and introduce yourself to your next "great" client. “I was just in the neighbourhood calling on a good client of mine, (provide name of client if appropriate), and I noticed your sign. I wanted to briefly introduce myself and leave a card. I understand from my client that you are…”

And, if there is a sign on the door that reads "SALES PEOPLE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY," walk in and make an appointment. After all, that’s what the sign means, right? So, the next time your prospect or clients says, "Your place or mine?" take that as another opportunity to get out in the pumpkin patch.

Onward and upward!

Written by Brian Kjenner

If you would like to access all my Rocket Fuels, check out

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