Rod's Prospect is Hard to Hit


Click Here to Buy

Sales Autopsy
by Dan Seidman


It was so, so hard to get appointments to sell people in their homes.

I remember as a rookie how anxious I would be, just to find someone who would say yes to a conversation about insurance.

Here's how naive I was. I would think "How am I going to get any practice selling, if I can't get in front of anyone?" I was practicing on prospects!

So when this one guy changed his appointment a third week running, I was disgusted and angry. I was going to sell this guy, if for no other reason than to make him pay for wasting my time.

This time I didn't call to confirm our meeting; I just drove to his house and rang the doorbell.

No answer.

Ring, ring.

No answer, but sounds inside.

Ring, ring.

No answer, but a back door slams and out bolts my prospect, running for his car!

"Hey, hey, wait!" I scream at this joker as he pulls out of his driveway and turns onto the street.

I am so angry that I jump into my car and give chase.

He's flying through the neighborhood, through stop signs and school zones.

I'm right with him. I'm not losing this guy. I'm on my personal Mission Impossible.

Several near misses of people and parked cars and we're now about seven minutes and five miles from his house.


The thought slams through my brain as my foot slams on the brakes.

I glance at street signs, realizing I've lost my way, lost my sale and momentarily lost my mind.

Back at the office I didn't have the guts to tell my manager what happened.

I learned, literally, not to chase prospects.

POSTMORTEM: Hey Rod, what were you going to do if you caught the guy? Sell him? I'm torn here between teaching the lesson or cheering Darwinism on to end it all for both the idiot prospect and rep. But Rod did redeem himself when he got a great selling lesson early in life. Why spend time and energy going after bad business? Great salespeople play the qualify and disqualify game - as soon as possible - when encountering potential new customers. What is a bad prospect to you? What is a good one? Define who you want to work with and your sales life will be easier. Leave Mission Impossible for the movies.