Selling Power Blog

News & Insights for B2B Sales Leaders

April 7, 2021

How to Create a Breakthrough in Your Prospecting

By Eric Lofholm, President and CEO, Eric Lofholm International, Inc.

Imagine you were a master prospector. How many more sales could you make per month? In this blog post, I will share with you how I became one of the best prospectors in the world and how you can do it too.

I have asked participants in audiences all over the world, “Do you need to prospect more?” Virtually every hand goes up in agreement. If salespeople know they should be prospecting more, why don’t they do it?

The answer is an obvious one: fear of rejection.

I, like millions of salespeople, started off my career dealing with fear of rejection from prospecting. Despite this, I called, and called, and called. With each call I got a little better. The improvement was so small I couldn’t see it, but I was getting better.

In 1999 I started my sales training company. I continued to prospect to sell my sales coaching services. While coaching salespeople on dealing with fear of rejection, I became a good prospecting coach. I kept prospecting and coaching others to prospect until one day I experienced a major breakthrough that allowed me to master the art of prospecting.

Here is what I realized. The rhythm of prospecting is no, no, no, no, no, no, yes. In other words, the majority of the time I prospect, I get a no or the prospect ignores me. With this understanding I developed the mindset that no’s are no big deal.

I then developed a second mindset. Before I share that, let me first share a problem millions of salespeople deal with daily. They experience a no in prospecting as rejection and they experience a no from a sales presentation as rejection. The opposite is true as well. They experience a yes in prospecting as a win and a yes in sales as a win.

Here is the conclusion I came to: If I look at sales in this way, it is win or lose all day every day—and the majority of the experiences are “lose”  unless I am prospecting at greater than 50% or closing at greater than 50%.

So I developed this mindset: When I prospect I win. When I book the appointment I double win! I win no matter what. When I run a sales appointment I win. When I close the sale I double win! I win no matter what. I have said these sentences to myself repeatedly  to burn these ideas into my subconscious mind.

So while other salespeople face an emotional rollercoaster in their prospecting on a daily basis,  I am winning no matter what. This mindset gives me the confidence to boldly, confidently prospect anyone.

I used this mindset to have the confidence to cold prospect NBA hall of famer Rich Barry. I wanted Rick to do a 30-minute coaching session with my son in basketball, so I cold-prospected him over Facebook Messenger. To my surprise, he responded to my message with his phone number and invited me to call him. I was able to successfully book a coaching session for my son by offering to barter marketing services with Rick. My son and I flew to Colorado and spent three hours training with Rick Barry. This was all created with a mindset: When I prospect I win! When I book the appointment I double win. I win no matter what!

Eric Lofholm is one of the world’s leading sales consultants. He has been helping salespeople all over the world make more sales since 1999. Would you like to receive Eric’s Prospecting Mastery Course for free?  If yes, email him at Mention this blog and he will send you the course for free.

Headshot of Eric Lofholm

Today's post is by Eric Lofholm, President and CEO of Eric Lofholm International, Inc.