Why Aren’t You Prospecting?

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

Northwestern Mutual is largely built on word-of-mouth. This technique has worked for years and helped tens of thousands of people build successful careers. Why not you?

The answer is probably: you

Let me explain. Here are some common reasons for not prospecting:

I feel bad asking for them since I never follow up.

I need to earn them.

I’m too young.

I absolutely dread it.

I feel like a stalker when I call people nine times.

Here’s how you are in your own way. If you tell yourself, “I feel bad asking for them since I never follow up,” why are you hoarding QSs? If it is a dialing issue, see last week’s blog. If not, could it be that having a long list of QSs makes you feel more secure? If you use them you might “run out.” Can you hear how your Lizard (your fight or flight survival response) is being triggered by a sense of scarcity? You are likely in a fear-based, anxious state a lot of the time which is tough in an attraction business. Prove to your Lizard that there are all the QSs in the world that you could ever possibility want (look around…nearly everyone is a QS waiting to happen!). Dial them all. Go get more! Continue to reassure yourself that there is abundance. Take deep breathes and tell yourself that you will be okay.

But…”I need to earn them!” This is a second very common reason people don’t ask. How can you possible measure when you have “earned” referrals in another person’s eyes? If you think about author Byron Katie’s concept of Your Business, My Business and God’s Business, whose business are you in when you are gauging if you are referral-worthy? The client’s! This is an illusion. You cannot control how someone else sees you, reacts, thinks about things, etc. Nor can you control God’s Business (floods, disease, your own mortality). All you have is Your Business: what you think, do, how you react, what you believe, etc. Stay in your business and trust that you have provided value in your meeting and that you have inherent worth.

But…”I’m too young.” Or too old, or too whatever! Whatever age you are, you will likely have a “story” about that. Our minds like to make things up, fill in the blanks and find reasons for things. This does not make it true. There can be a story about any age. What is your story? Stop and really think about it. Do you have any way of knowing that your stories are true? In all likelihood, they are not rational thoughts. Just because you have a thought doesn’t make it true. Your brain’s job is NOT necessarily to be accurate all the time, its job is to produce more than 70,000 thoughts per day.

But…”I absolutely dread it.” Most Financial Representatives have the Fact Finder process down pat and feel okay about it—until the prospecting section! Oftentimes this has to do with the idea that the meeting shifts from helping the client to what you may believe is only helping you. If you feel like prospecting is self-serving, let’s talk about it. Is it? What are three reasons that it is not self-serving? How about: gives clients a chance to help others, the client may want to return the favor, and maybe the client’s decision of whether or not to give you referrals has nothing to do with you at all. 

And, finally, but… "I feel like a stalker when I call people nine times.” Simply don’t. Chances are you haven’t been prospecting enough and you are using the same tired list. Freshen that list up. Find people you are fired up to call. Bring life and energy back into prospecting. 

The good news is that all of your reasons for prospecting are not reason enough to stop. Keep going. Your future clients will thank you.