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Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in any Situation by John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz

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Chapter 13

Prospecting by Phone

Creating Rainmaking Conversations

I’ve always found the harder I worked, the better my luck was.

—Ed Bradley

Prospecting—the act of creating new conversations that lead to sales—is perhaps the most overanalyzed of all the stages in the sales process. It’s also one of the most misunderstood. The dynamics of how prospecting works continue to baffle many.

Prospecting is misunderstood. Then, when people seek to understand it better, they find conflicting advice. Different situations rightly call for different approaches, so some of the experts themselves are confused about what works and what doesn’t. Some experts even tout their own approaches such as no-more-cold-calling lead generation methods for the purposes of selling their wares by preying on the emotional baggage that many people have about picking up the phone.

For those of you who want to succeed with prospecting and join the ranks of true rainmakers, it’s important for you to see, without the smoke and mirrors, how selling with the telephone actually works. Then you can make your own decisions about what will work best for you.

We focus on the telephone because it’s the most common way (with notable exceptions) that rainmakers use to create rainmaking conversations, even now in the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Prospecting—What It Is

There’s an age-old formula in direct marketing referred to as AIDA. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

The goal of prospecting ...

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