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Everything Looks Like a Meal to a Starving Man

The hungrier you get, the more willing you are to eat something that isn’t really good for you. If you’re starving, all of your discipline around eating goes straight out the window, doesn’t it? That’s why you’re not supposed to wait until you are starving to eat (and why you never want to go the grocery store when you are hungry). When you’re starving you make bad decisions.

I could stop writing this post right here and you would understand the point I’m making, wouldn’t you?

When you go long periods without prospecting, your pipeline dries up. You become more and more desperate for something–anything–to put in your pipeline. And then, your standards are gone. The idea that you should pursue your dream clients is gone, and with it, qualifying. Instead, every lead is automatically an opportunity, and all opportunities are good.

That prospect that spends a lot of money in your space but buys on price alone suddenly becomes a real opportunity–if only you could lower your prices. That nightmare prospect who doesn’t appreciate the value that you create suddenly becomes an object of desire. The prospect with a potential deal, the one with hair all over it, is transformed as if by magic into a dream client. That too small prospect, the one that will cost you more to serve than you can possibly make, is now worthy of your time and attention.

This is why prospecting is critical. If you always have a healthy pipeline then you never get so desperate that you feel that you have to pursue non-opportunities. To a starving person, even something awful looks like a meal.


Why do you get desperate for opportunities?

What actions do you need to take to keep from being desperate?

What happens when you do a poor job of qualifying?

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  • Dan S

    I think the same ‘starving’ mentality can occur around prospecting where, if you aren’t clear who the ‘right’ prospects to approach are, you can end up chasing ghosts and mismatched prospects when you view yourself ‘starved’.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Too true, Dan!

  • Sunim Tamang

    Prospecting still is the least liked part of sales process. When I started my career, my manager handed me a bunch of business cards and told me that these are your “accounts” from where I was supposed to cultivate business. It turned that 95% of those leads were bust…

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Better to learn to love it!

    • Dan S

      I think it is ‘least liked’ as people treat it on an adhoc basis. Exemplified by your managers approach. You need to be taught by someone who does it. It isn’t the activity you do that is important in prospecting (most people know what to do) – it is HOW you do it that is important. Sales is unfortunately easily distilled to numbers (calls made, letters sent, visits undertaken) so it is easily be become consumed by volume/quantity. The trick is to take the time to understand:
      1. Who are the right people I need to talk to
      2. What is the right way to approach them
      2. What is the right message they need to hear from me
      3. How much of the above do I need to do to be successful.
      By putting the volume of activity as the 4th consideration, you focus on doing the right things, right first.