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Rocket Fuel -Prospect Solitaire


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Today’s Rocket Fuel is about a game that will kill your prospecting efficiency. A number of years ago Reg Madison, a great Clarica manager presented his story of 'prospect solitaire' to a group of new salespeople, myself included. After listening for a short while it became clear I was already an expert at a game I didn't realize I was playing. The story stuck with me and when I wrote my sales book titled, TOP Seller (available on Amazon.com), I searched for the right spot to fit it in:


I slide my top drawer open and pull out the stack of leads I have accumulated… but never called. The edges of the cards and papers are tattered from playing 'Prospect Solitaire'. Prospect Solitaire is a game that has been played by generations of struggling salespeople - myself included. The game starts by fanning out the leads on your desk. You then organize them into piles from oldest to newest, or from the best lead to the worst lead, or maybe even geographically. The goal of the game is to arrange them in the perfect order to call. Usually at about that time either Amar or Jada walks by and asks me to go for coffee, which signals the end of the game. At that point I scoop all the names back into a random pile and place them in my desk, ready for the next game. It's funny - I still remember the lectures I would get from John Andrews whenever he saw a lead on my desk. He'd say, "Bob, if you are like most salespeople you probably hold on to the leads you get like you would pennies in a piggy bank. You don't mind taking money out as long as there are always a few jingling in the bottom. No one wants an empty piggy bank, right?" I would say, "Right," knowing exactly what he was going to say next. "Bob, leads are like milk; they have an expiry date. If you don't use them, they go bad. I want you to call all the leads you have saved up right now." Then when I did call them, he would wander back in my office and say, "I notice you don't have any leads anymore, Bob. You better get out there and find some." With John it was such a 'catch-22'. He either wanted you panicking because you did have leads and they needed to be called, or he wanted you to panic because you didn't have any.


Have you ever played prospect solitaire? Do you ever fan out your leads trying to figure out the best order to call them in? I've learned there is only one best order: Start at the top of the pile and work your way to the bottom.


Also, do you panic when you don't have any leads to call? Does that panic motivate you to book a business development meeting to replenish your stock? And then, once you have a pile of leads sitting on your desk, do you panic as those leads begin approaching their 'expiry date'? Well, don't worry! A little panic, now and then, can be a great motivator for keeping your sales funnel full.


Written by Brian Kjenner


If you found this blog valuable, you should invest in my book, TOP Seller, at Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/0968818935.


If you would like to access all my Rocket Fuels, check out www.theoryofplenty.com.




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