results and correcting & improving functions
Any prospecting system that
doesn't have a method of MONITORING the results is not going
to last long.
If results aren't inspected
regularly (and frequently) you won't see when things take
a turn for the worse. You'll only notice it MUCH later when there's
And if you don't see there's
a problem, you won't know to LOOK for one until it's usually
It all comes down to this:
Anything that doesn't bring
enough SUCCESS will inevitably be discontinued and abandoned
sooner or later, one way or another.
The less success it
brings, the sooner it will be aborted.
And it really doesn't make
much difference how hard you fight it. Sure, it'll last LONGER
that way but the end is just as unavoidable.
You DO need resolve and self-determinism.
Keeping it going no matter WHAT is definitely a vital ingredient
But that resilience pays off
only if you have a way to CORRECT what isn't working properly.
You HAVE to have that in order
to survive with the prospecting system - or any project, for
that matter - so that there are better times ahead. Otherwise
you'll be banging your head against a wall: It becomes a hopeless,
You need light at the end of
the tunnel. Nobody can plunge forever deeper into darkness. No
one can withstand failure and increasing uncertainty and just
keep on going.
Once you have a system for
prospecting, success is essentially made out of a BALANCE of
"stiff upper lip" and a way to FIND & HANDLE
the problems that come your way.
It would be unrealistic to
expect NO problems when implementing a whole new system for prospecting
and signing on new clients. After all, you're going after something
extremely valuable which can double your clientele in 12-24 months.
Something that worthwhile doesn't
come in form of a wonder pill. It takes some persistence and
But just as obviously, difficulties
ALONE do not prove you will succeed - or that the system you
use will even give you a chance of making it.
You need to consistently
monitor the system in all its parts and results. And
you need to have the combined experience of those thousands
of times the system has been used so that you can solve
ANY problem that one can run into using (and misusing) it.
Enthusiasm, while a laudable
asset, won't alone make the grade.
How to check
whether the systems for monitoring & correction exist
It's no good just counting
"new clients," obviously. You start with NOTHING when
implementing a new system - and it is at the beginning that you'll
have most problems.
It's ALL new to you, all something
you have to get familiar with - and that's when the likelihood
of misapplication and forgetting bits and pieces is at its
So, if you only count "how
many new clients I've obtained," there's a very real possibility
you'll have absolutely nothing to add up - you'll never
get it far enough to get the FIRST client!
Similarly, monitoring only
the number of potential clients obtained isn't going to help
you to GET those prospects. That statistic will only tell you
there are "no prospects" - not WHY there aren't any.
You'll be well aware that there aren't any prospects - you don't
need statistics to tell you THAT, right?
Thus, your system needs to
monitor the INTERMEDIATE results of the prospecting system in
order to get some clue on WHERE the problem is and WHAT
To be able to do that, the
system has to be divided into segmented phases, each independent
with its own tool and named objectives - in other words,
you need to know what each particular phase or action is expected
to PRODUCE as a result.
For instance, if you establish
your own telemarketing activity, you need to have a successful
blueprint for the whole function - not only an effective speech
and angle to use in approaching the business owners.
You also need to know things
How many calls are needed
to reach a certain
number of decision-makers?
How many decision-makers
have to be reached in
order to get a certain number to participate in the interview
your telemarketer wants to do with the business owners?
How many interviews you
have to start
to get a certain number all the way through it?
How many do you have
to get through it
to get a certain number of them interested in getting more information
from your firm?
...and so on.
Of course, obtaining potential
clients is NOT the end result of your marketing activity,
so you would then take this same principle onwards.
Continuing, you'd want to know...
How many potential clients
do you need
to get a certain number of decision-makers all the way through
your service presentation?
How many prospects do
you need to get through your presentation to get a certain number to come to
meet you at your office?
How many of those who agree to come actually show up?
How many of those who
show up do you need
in order to get a certain number of new clients?
There's much more to it - well,
at least there's more to it in the Modern Accountancy Marketing
& Sales Course - but this gives you the general idea.
To get five clients, you obviously
need to have more than five prospects - and here, we're
only counting the potential clients that you get all the way
to a face-to-face meeting with you.
But how many is normal - and how many is too much, immediately
telling you there's something that needs to be corrected someplace?
To get more than five potential
clients each to arrive to a one-on-one meeting, you obviously
have to get more than five prospects to be in contact with you.
But how many?
To get into comfortable communication
with that many prospects, you need even more "raw material"
fed into your marketing & sales system - but how many?
And so it continues.
Each phase of your whole marketing
system has its own task. The common denominator is that you want
to create a certain effect and produce a certain result.
Those results should then be named and monitored.
what ultimately governs the quantity and quality of results you
The more certain you are of
what you need to do, what you need to produce, what you DO produce,
what problems there COULD be, how to find and correct the problems...
the more likely you are to GET results.
With certainty come prediction
and control. And that is what is behind success - it's 95%
knowing what to do - luck can affect it only 5 percent, really.
So, make sure the prospecting
system you choose doesn't depend on LUCK for its success.
Instead, demand to get
the knowhow on how to find and correct any and all problems that
can pop up using the system.
If you have that, you won't
So LOOK for these separate
phases and parts in the prospecting system that you contemplate.
Ask the providers of the system
whether or not they have any means of monitoring each phase.
Do they have some type
of a troubleshooting pack that would contain the accumulated
experiences of other uses in solving problems?
Do they have reasonably
priced support services to help you to get the prospecting activity
debugged and working - even if it means personal troubleshooting
work for them?
It is usually little known
how MANY PARTS a successful prospecting system has. Prospecting
is but one part of marketing - so a marketing system is MUCH
A full marketing system can
have more than a HUNDRED different parts. Not all have
to be monitored, mind you - but at least the 10 main statistics
of it do have to be named and monitored.
Enthusiasm is a great thing
- but it cannot replace monitoring and correction. It's just
like with your clients: Their optimism won't change the figures
and it shouldn't replace following the development of their fiscal
In marketing, you're always
balancing two forces. No marketing means no expenses but you
also lose the income additional new clients would bring. Marketing
means expenses - but if the system doesn't allow for certainty
and correction (monitoring & troubleshooting) you leave the
obtaining of results up to CHANCE.
Only systems with tools for
monitoring and troubleshooting can give you the FULL CONTROL
of your marketing system.
Anything short of that relies
FAR TOO MUCH on LUCK.
And with a hundred things that
could go wrong, you'll need about the same amount of Lady Luck's
favours as you would in winning the national lottery jackpot!
In essence, a marketing system
provider that doesn't give you a system that can be controlled
is using you for a guinea-pig. He is gambling and you're banking
But why would we AGREE to such
an arrangement so obviously adverse to our own interests?
Well, for one, the source of
the information might be a widely acclaimed expert of marketing...
and experts versus practical experience
There are all kinds of authorities
and experts in this world. Some are self-named. Others have been
appointed and some just become famous.
An expert is an authority on
his subject. An authority can be an expert on his subject - but
expertise doesn't necessarily follow an appointment (nor does
an appointment necessarily follow if you have expertise).
I have no ax to grind with
authorities and experts. But I do want to point out that there
are two very different spheres involved in this area.
One assumes that an authority
or expert KNOWS how something is done.
Unfortunately, it is an ASSUMPTION.
He may know. He may not know. Or it might be a mixture of the
Some subjects necessitate authority
and expertise AND involve highest level of practical skill. An
Accountant, a surgeon, an attorney, or an engineer would have
to have certain education, accepted knowledge criteria AND a
high level of practical skills & expertise.
But a "marketing guru?"
Sorry. When we leave the sphere of exact sciences and enter the
wonderland of "opinion-based theories" it all changes.
An expert doesn't necessarily have ANY practical knowledge in
what he is an expert on!
One also assumes that some
invention or system has to come from a widely recognized expert/authority
in order for it to be worth investing in.
But that's not how it always
goes in this world.
The vast majority of new, potent
and powerful inventions come from UNKNOWN individuals.
Any successful marketing system
would be based on a much more effective way of presenting the
services and offering clients a better service - and, in essence,
you're taking clients from your competitors, right?
And any such activity would
be used by FEW firms to start with - and those would have
a huge edge on the competition, don't you agree?
Consequently, the more firms
that would adopt the system (= the more widely accepted it
becomes) the more it will LOSE its effect and potency
simply because there'll be MORE firms in each area using this
while the number of clients available remains the same. There's
just more Accounting firms going after those same clients.
So really, the two concepts
of "effective marketing system" and "wide acceptance
and usage" are mutually exclusive - they are opposites!
How can it be highly effective
- which HAS to mean that it gives you a huge edge over the competition
- if everyone already KNOWS IT?
I'll tell you how. There's
NO WAY unless it costs an arm and a leg. But don't mistake
that to mean that anything costing a lot would BE effective and
give you that practical knowhow and edge!
for yourself - and take only your own word for it
I'm not saying that the renown
experts of marketing don't know what they're talking about. I'm
not saying their systems aren't good.
I'm merely pointing out the
illogic in the way we EVALUATE the systems offered mainly by
how "widely accepted" the source of it is!
I'm saying that a widely known,
respectable and liked person or organization can put out a system
that might NOT be tested, piloted and proven. Or, they might
put out a set of great added-value services but give absolutely
NO effective way of marketing & selling them.
All I'm saying is that IF it
has been tested and piloted, if it has been used extensively
it will have a way to monitor intermediate results of each phase
- and it will most definitely have a troubleshooting support
system of some kind.
Obviously, it would be priceless
to get the combined knowledge and experience of all those that
have used the system. What problems did they encounter? How did
these manifest themselves? How did they locate WHAT exactly the
problem was so they could only correct THAT part and not change
everything? How did they finally manage to handle & correct
Little things perhaps - but
absolutely vital to sustaining the prospecting & marketing
system... utterly elementary in getting it even STARTED, let
If the providers of the system
HAVE actually started it, used it, piloted it with dozens of
practices, solved the inevitable problems that come up with any
new system... then they will have also documented those experiences.
If so, they will have all those
intermediate results named and a way of monitoring them - and
they'll also have the knowledge of how to solve any and all problems
YOU might face establishing your own marketing activity and maintaining
If not, then monitoring &
correction will be absent in the presentation of their system.
Look not only for what
IS there but also what is NOT there.
The only way you CAN evaluate
a prospecting & marketing system before investing in it is
through your own conclusions.
If you find that a prospecting
/ marketing system lacks any meaningful method of measuring the
results of each subcategory of activities, if there is no troubleshooting
data base (and, as a last resort, an inexpensive back up support
service) then beware.
It's a dead-certain sign that
you're going to need a more-than-average portion of sheer LUCK
to get any results!
HERE to get back to the main article on the seven-point prospecting