Fanatical Prospecting 2015 Jeb Blount

“Nobody answers a phone that doesn’t ring”

The premise of this book is inescapable.

Most salespeople are losers.

Yet they have the ability to become winners.

The author generated plenty of media pr around this project. Such as this Forbes piece, including a quote that further sums up this book’s flagstone premise;

“People need to understand that if you don’t go out and interrupt somebody’s day, you’re are going to have skinny kids.”

Although sadly his subsequent 5 Questions Prospect Ask Themselves About You aren’t in the book I read here.

  • Do I like you?
  • Do you listen to me?
  • Do you make me feel important?
  • Can you solve my problem?
  • Do I trust and believe you?

Frustratingly though, you toil through the pages like a tubby cybercondriac paying for a magic new weight loss pill only to discover that it only works if you also eat less and exercise more.

The proposed fixes show no real difference to any from pre-Millennium texts. By way of illustration, here’s his “5-step telephone prospecting framework”;

(note, do not follow this if you want to be a winner.)

The First 100 pages ram home story after anecdote detailing the perils of under cold calling.

There’s plenty to admire in this first third.

How do you stop a salesperson working?

Put them in front of a phone…

The remedy is to stop with and reverse doing their far too little prospecting. A label that encompasses many an activities. Typically, overwhelmingly it means not enough telephoning.

The achievers, the superstar sellers, the quota-smashers, these fabled 20pc that make 80pc of the deals and cash all the commission and prizes and accolades, they are the ones that do actually undertake the requisite cold calling.

This delusional rump of the profession which are perennial target missers need to embrace “fanatical prospecting”. Spot on.

There flows a succession of two-page-ish blog style mini-chapters, many with the kinds of lamentable descriptions of personal inactivity I all too readily recognise from too many a salesroom.

And there’s a Prospecting Pyramid to help organise ‘calling blocks’. Who doesn’t love a triangle to explain things?

Oh, how this needs a hack… still.

His Golden Hours are an essential. Dedicated time blocked off for laser focused calling. As opposed to Platinum Hours. Where all the prep and noise of busy non sales activity catch up. Including filling in reports, so called preparation and all manner of admin and general company office nonsense.

Undoubtedly terrific on the diagnosis. Come on, I mean who wants an ‘anaemic pipe’?

But when it comes to prescription, the wheels sadly fall off. Which really got me. I was salivating over much of the first half. I thought that this guy really gets it. I warmed to him.

Then you recoil from the setup. It’s like a marathon onepage website sell so beloved of Ponzi-style Internet Marketing schemers. You are such an overweight blubberpuss. Rubbed in hard more ways you can ever have imagined. Before the fix de jour takes you for all you can afford and more.

I could have listed a raft of examples of the author’s good – and some of his ‘pick up the phone now’ kicks-up-the-backside are very good – and the bad – and I could have gone wild with listing how time’s moved on rendering much of the suggested scripts straight from Schiffman downright ugly. Alright, I will show just one here, by way of a suggested text message sent after a networking event. Welcome to the 90s;

So, good on the causes, not so hot on the ways to conduct yourself on said plentiful, “always make one more”, resultant calls.

If you want to be spurred on to cold call, the first part of this is definitely for you. If you then wish to know what to say when the phone’s in your hand, well, for that you ought look elsewhere.

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