I spent my formative years in ballet class. While other kids went out to play, I went to ballet class. In high school while others attended after-school activities or hung out together, I went to ballet class. By my mid-teens I was taking class five or six times a week or maybe even more. This was a habit that continued till injuries sidelined my professional dance career.
This habit of taking a ballet class every day was not mine alone. Every dancer, professionals or those seeking to become professionals, take class every day. It’s a habit, it’s a reality, it goes with the job. It is impossible to dance professionally without taking class. Even the stars, Misty Copeland, for example, take class every day.
In my late teens I had some personal crises that stopped me from going to class every day. At one of my rare appearances in class, my teacher asked where I had been. I told her what was going on in my life. She said to me, “That’s no reason not to take class. You have to take class every day, no matter what.”
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But she was right. Not taking class only gave me something else to feel bad about.
When I started my sales training business, I used that same “no matter what” approach to prospecting. I prospected every day. I started out with absolutely no business connections. I was a ballet dancer; I only knew other ballet dancers. I did, however, know how to prospect. On and off for years my “day job” had been telemarketing. I began to do business development the same way I learned to take class, every day, no matter what. That’s how I built my business. Even today, every day brings some business development activity, no matter what.
So how does the busy entrepreneur or business owner find the time to prospect every day no matter what? The answer is simple, put it in your calendar. Schedule time in your calendar every day for prospecting activity. At the scheduled time put aside what you are doing and prospect. Do not take other calls, do not work on other projects, do not allow interruptions. Simply prospect. When the time you have scheduled is over, stop prospecting and go on with your other tasks.
Prospecting success (just like learning to dance) comes over time. In order to keep your sales funnel full you must constantly be on the lookout for opportunities. To be successful you must engage in some prospecting activity every day, no matter what. It’s a habit, it’s a reality, it goes with the job.