It’s Time To Purge!

Every year, my wife challenges me to really question the things I have around the house. It’s just stuff. Lots of stuff I’ve collected through the years. Novelty t-shirts, books about athletes that are now criminals, records by comedians who are now criminals, sweaters that are too big, sweaters that are too small, and much more. My initial impulse is that of course I need this stuff, or what if I need it later. I can honestly say that anything I’ve gotten rid of, I’ve never went dumpster diving to retrieve it. You don’t need excess things!

My challenge to you is to apply this to your sales prospects. Take a good hard look at who you’ve been reaching out to for the past year (or more) and ask yourself a few questions to see if they are really worth your very valuable time. Here’s a few questions that you can ask yourself to clear out at least a quarter of your prospect list that will give you more time to spend on the more valuable prospects or to add prospects that fit your current criteria for successful new clients.

  1. Does this prospect’s needs match your company’s current service/product offerings? Over the past year your organization has probably made some changes. Either new associates, new products, or new services have been added that offer something different to your clients. Are you still trying to find prospects that fit what your company used to be?
  2. How many times have you tried to connect with this prospect? I’m all for making the appropriate amount of touch points before giving up on a client, but sometimes enough is enough. If you’ve introduced 5 value propositions to this prospect in 3 different ways throughout the year, you can probably move on. Now saying that, sometimes you have a few Moby Dicks out there that you’ll never stop going after, and that’s okay! I do keep a few ragged shirts around, because I can’t seem to give them up.
  3.  Is this prospect keeping you from spending time on better prospects? We’ve all been there before. You spend a ton of time on a prospect, they turn into a client, and then they don’t quite pan out to give you the highest value that you thought they would give. Be on the lookout for similar types of prospects on your list. Is this prospect similar to that not-so-great client that you are trying to get to pay their PO after 6 months? Cut them loose! If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Most of all, trust your gut. Be really honest with yourself and if it doesn’t feel right, abandon ship. There’s lots of other great prospects out there that you probably aren’t even looking at, because that duck still has your attention. Like the image above says, “If it doesn’t matter, get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it, it matters.”

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