The more I learn about the challenges people face when it comes to prospecting, the more I am convinced that it is so much like exercise. Consider these similarities:
Everybody has to do it. As I find myself repeating, “Whether building a business or building a career, everybody prospects.” Well, everybody in business has to. The same is true for exercise—everybody has to do it. Those who don’t exercise pay a price. And I can’t tell you how many people have admitted to me, “I don’t do enough of it.” Are they talking about prospecting or exercise? Take your pick.
It only takes a little bit of time every week. You don’t have to spend all your waking hours prospecting, nor do you need to do so for exercising. Yet both are important, healthy activities that should be scheduled into your week, preferably in time blocks. Consider how much time you want to invest in each, and budget that time accordingly.
We join clubs to do it. Well, we don’t always, nor do we have to join a club, but we do often make that investment, don’t we? How many of us have bought a membership somewhere and never used it?
There are countless ways to get it done. How many ways are there to exercise? There are hundreds! Any kind of vigorous activity can be categorized as exercise—and you get automatic credit for doing so! Now consider this: how many ways are there to interact with and meet other people? Just as many. Think of prospecting as social exercise. You’re building and strengthening your skills, and your relationships. The benefits are exponential.
So, how does this information help you? Look at it this way: What is one of the most important pieces of advice you hear when it comes to exercise?
“Pick an activity you love, and just do it,” is what you will hear. Whether it is walking 30 minutes several times per week (if not daily) while listening to your iPod or swimming 30 laps every morning at the gym, either is fine—providing you enjoy doing it.
Why are enjoyable activities important to tasks that you might otherwise avoid? You know the answer—it keeps you from procrastination. I’ll be the first person to admit this: I am not crazy about exercising.
But I do enjoy going out and getting a good walk in, preferably in the middle of the day. It helps clear my head, it gets my thoughts focused (great for us ADD types!) and it helps me relax. If the weather is nice, I appreciate that as well. Or, I can listen to a podcast or audiobook that furthers my personal growth as well. Not a bad way to invest 30 minutes. In the last few years, I have taken up doing a 5k run three times per week.
On the same note, I am often not crazy about prospecting, if I feel as though I am prospecting. Does this make sense? It begs the question: what do you enjoy doing when it comes to prospecting? Are you passionate about what you do and how it positively impacts peoples’ lives? Do you get a rush when you share someone else’s success story, or introduce one person to another at a social gathering? If so, these are prospecting activities, just a few of countless others that can be fun, rewarding and even healthy.