Prospect & Flourish: Conquering the Weakest Link in the Sales Process

3 Modules 10 Parts 40 Lessons Intermediate

About this Course

What’s the number one cause of FAILURE for sales professionals? It is lack of prospects.

You have plenty of great resources and options at your disposal to learn more about “selling”—but most of those programs give mere lip service to the most challenging activity of prospecting. 

Introducing the all new fifth and first online edition this intense, peer-reviewed, time-tested program on prospecting: Prospect & Flourish: How to Conquer the “Weakest Link” in the Sales Process. Adapted, expanded and updated from curriculum originally created for the insurance industry, Prospect & Flourish is a comprehensive guide to business prospecting in all its forms.

Learn more

Course Structure

For Registered Users ONLY
4 Parts


In these first three lessons, we address the basic fundamentals, and the very enigma of prospecting itself. We also address right away one of the most important points to remember: who your prospect, and who it isn't. After all, if everyone is a prospect, then no one is.

Lastly, we focus your attention on your messaging and presentation: the crucial element of what to say and how to say it.



Welcome to Prospect & Flourish. In this introduction, we'll take just a few minutes to give you an overview of this program and share a little of how it came to be. We'll also provide a handful of helpful tips to keep in mind, to make the best use for yourself moving forward. 

Chapter 1: The Prospecting Enigma 4 Lessons

Lesson 1.1: What is Prospecting?

What do you think when you hear the term “prospecting?” Most people have their own personal definition of prospecting, just as they do for so many other terms that tend to be thrown about too loosely in business.  That’s why it’s important for us to quickly review some other terms and concepts that affect your work in prospecting for new customers. Before we go into the ins and outs of prospecting, we must make sure that all of us have a shared understanding of where prospecting stands, as it relates to sales and marketing as a whole.

Lesson 1.2: The Five Hurdles to Successful Prospecting

In many ways, selling is easy. But prospecting? That’s difficult. It's the very reason you are going through this program. Prospecting is the enigma that every sales professional must confront. It is also the number one reason why sales people fail, or leave their respective businesses. They simply cannot master prospecting. Here's what's holding them back.

Lesson 1.3: Know, Like & Trust

Odds are, you have heard the expression (perhaps very recently), “Know, Like & Trust.” It has become a mantra across the business landscape over the past few decades. The overall premise is that people will, generally speaking, choose to do business with those whom they know, like and trust. This applies pretty much across the board, whether you are in a B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) space. 

Chapter 1 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!

Chapter 2: Not Everyone is a Prospect 5 Lessons

Lesson 2.1 If Everyone is a Prospect, then No One Is

If everyone is a prospect, then no one is. The fact is, you cannot be everything to everyone. Nor should you want to. Trying to be everything to everyone is a waste of time and energy. And it certainly won’t grow your market share.

Lesson 2.2: Do You Know Your Market?

Who will make your best prospects? It is amazing how many sales professionals fail to understand this crucial dynamic. It is a fundamental first step in any sales and marketing effort: Identify your prospective client.

Lesson 2.3: What’s Your Niche?

“Pick a Niche and Serve it Better than Anyone Else.”

This advice given to me by a mentor nearly twenty years ago. At that time, it was probably one of the most important pieces of advice ANYONE in business might receive (regardless of profession). But in today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s now more relevant than ever.

Lesson 2.4: Your Customer Persona…SIMPLIFIED!

Here is where we dive into one of the most important tools for prospecting, marketing, and sales: Your Customer Persona. Personas are used by sales and marketing professionals to tailor marketing communication to the specific wants and needs of the prospect. That’s what you will use it for. And when we refer to marketing communication, you may be thinking of sales and marketing materials, . Yes indeed it does include those things, but at the most basic and important level, it starts with your SCRIPTING.

Chapter 2 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!

Chapter 3: Sharpen Your Point of Contact 4 Lessons

Lesson 3.1: Create Your Brand Message and Value Proposition

So you've begun to identify your ideal prospects, and create your Customer Persona. You may know how to seek people whom you can approach on a favorable basis—which begs the question: Why should a prospect even want to have just a twenty-minute conversation with you?

In a nutshell, this is your Value Proposition...the essence of your Brand Message.

Lesson 3.2: The Secret to Script Success

Professionals are well scripted. Amateurs ad-lib, and wing it. This is often the result of laziness— not taking the time and making the effort to prepare. Using a script, whether it is provided for you by your company, or one you write, is not about being manipulative or superficial. It is about being prepared.

Lesson 3.3: Life’s Most Important Skill

This lesson is the most important in the entire course.

We’ve given much attention speaking, scripting and outward presentation. Now we need to step back, and focus on another, crucial topic and skill: LISTENING. 

Chapter 3 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!

For Registered Users ONLY
3 Parts


In this second module we advance into the topic of networking—perhaps one of the most misunderstood topics in business and sales. Then you're introduced to strategies that help you start setting your activity benchmarks, with a special focus on knowing what kinds of activity will be best worth your while (and what will be a waste of time). From there we close out the module with some unique lessons on high quality service: and how it impacts your capacity to generate referrals and introductions.


Lesson 4.1 What is Networking?

Believe it or not, regardless of your experience level, it’s a fair question to begin with. Networking is one of the most nebulous subjects when it comes to sales and career development. Why? Because it deals with intangibles, and we need to get on the same page before we move forward.

Lesson 4.2 Centers of Influence (Networking, Newtonian Style)

When it comes to interpersonal relationships, people are like heavenly bodies. Some people are more influential than others. When these people speak, others listen. These influential and often dynamic individuals are also called "Centers of Influence" (COI for short). They also represent a key factor in effective networking—and successful prospecting.

Lesson 4.3: Becoming Socially Mobile

As we briefly indicated in the previous module, another powerful means of networking is through social mobility. These activities allow others to see you in the community, be it in the business community, in the schools or on other fronts. People know who you are and where to find you.  What kind of activities are we referring to?

Lesson 4.4 Networking Organizations & Referral Groups

Networking doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It requires a structure, and there are many such structures out there. In this lesson we’ll cover two of the more common social structures used for business networking: Networking Organizations and Referral Groups. 

Lesson 4.5: Your Personal Board of Advisers

Why have a Board? The answer is simple: accountability. Organizations of all sizes have boards to keep them accountable. So should you. This will require a team effort on your part and on the part of an elite group of your most important Centers of Influence.  

Chapter 4 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!


Lesson 5.1: Discipline & Perseverance

You have heard it before, and you will hear it again: There are no shortcuts around
discipline. Discipline helps us reach our potential and get what we want. It is not enough to have the skills and the talent. To succeed, you need the discipline to exercise those skills
and take action on a consistent basis.

Lesson 5.2: Structure Determines Behavior

As we said at the conclusion of the previous lesson: discipline, perseverance and
willpower are important, but they alone will not suffice. What most people do not
understand is a force that is far more powerful. It’s called structure.

Lesson 5.3: The Problem with Problem-Solving

Most of us can become overly fixated on our PROBLEMS to the point that it limits us in how we set our goals. We look at what we think we can do, and what our current capacity or structure will allow. With that information, we then set what we call “Fit Goals.”

Rarely does this “problem-solving” way of thinking work, because too often we keep ourselves in the same structure that helped create those problems in the first place.

Lesson 5.4: Structure Your Activity

So, as we close out the fifth chapter of this program, you may (or may not) be wondering the point of these lessons, at least midway. Might it not make more sense to discuss benchmarks, structure and goal setting near the end, after your brain has been loaded with strategy and tactics?

Consider this...there is a common trap that all sales professionals—not just beginning ones—can fall into. It’s what a former manager of mine referred to as “Getting ready to get ready.” It's the trap of procrastination.

Chapter 5 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!

Chapter 6: YOUR MOMENT OF TRUTH 4 Lessons

Lesson 6.1: Service and Prospecting

You may have heard stories of mythical times when business seemed so much more personal than it does today. That was the heyday for customer service, some will say—a time filled with customer loyalty and satisfaction. However, these days, with the reduced level of personal service we seem to be getting from business, it is more likely that we will hear complaints rather than compliments from customers.

Lesson 6.2: Seek Out Moments of Truth

When referring to customer service, I prefer the expression: “Your moment of truth.” That’s why it’s the name of the whole chapter. This “moment” is defined as a time of client / prospect engagement, during which you are confronted with a situation, for which you must now make a choice. 

You may wonder: why is it called a moment of truth, and not a moment of choice? The answer is simple: at these various moments, the choice that we make reveals the truth that lies within us: the truth of how deeply we care about our clients. 

Lesson 6.3: The Eight Rules of Outstanding Service

In summary, let’s review what we call The Eight Rules of Outstanding Service. 

Together, these rules make up your compass that helps you determine the most effective ways to serve your clients, stand out, and create enthusiastic introductions.

Lesson 6.4: Chapter 6 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!

For Registered Users ONLY
3 Parts


In this third module, we delve into advanced strategies that first address marketing, and how to approach it without throwing money down the drain. We also introduce you to effective ways to leverage social media, as well as a step-by-step approach to getting your foot in the door at companies where you don't have a connection!

Chapter 7: KNOW LIKE & TRUST MARKETING 4 Lessons

Lesson 7.1: Prospecting IS Marketing

Prospecting IS marketing. Want proof? Ask yourself this question: are you guilty of “random acts of marketing?” In other words, have you tried or invested in marketing tactics in the past (like advertising in a publication or online, or a one-shot attempt to host an event), hoping for near-term results, only to be disappointed in the outcomes?

And in those circumstances, what was your conclusion?

Likely, it was that said-strategy “...doesn’t work.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard similar expressions: “Oh yeah...we tried pay-per-click advertising once and it doesn’t work.” 

And while not all marketing strategies are created equally for all businesses and circumstances, the vast majority of the time, the failure was not inherent in the strategy, but in its execution.

Meanwhile, sales and business professionals move from strategy to strategy, with no consistency or plan, wasting valuable dollars in the process.

Lesson 7.2: The Know, Like & Trust Funnel

Marketing and sales is much like dating and marriage (you may have heard this analogy before). Simply put, you don’t ask a person to marry you on a first date, do you? Of course not. 

And yet, when sales people “go for the close” prematurely, that’s just what they are doing: proposing marriage on that proverbial first date. They’re focused on the transaction, not the relationship.

Lesson 7.3: Marketing’s Silver Bullet

A few years ago, I conducted an informal survey of members of my local network and others in my in-house mailing list. It was a simple, one-question survey: “From a Marketing Perspective: What is the One Thing You Could be Doing Better?”

To my surprise, there was ONE WORD that appeared in one form or another in about two-thirds of the responses (and there were several hundred):

That word was “CONSISTENCY.”

Lesson 7.4: Chapter 7 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!


Lesson 8.1: B2B Precision Strike, Part 1

When it comes to B2B prospecting, we all know that ideally, the best way to connect with new, qualified people with whom we can discuss our business is through a common relationship—a personal introduction. Yet we all will face situations when we would like to knock on the door of an organization, and yet, we just don’t have that connection. At times like these, how do you reach the decision maker in an organization when you CANNOT contact them on a favorable basis?

How do you get your foot in the door?

Lesson 8.2: B2B Precision Strike, Part 2

In the previous lesson we covered the foundational steps of B2B Precision Strike. Here we move into deployment--the second four of an eight step strategy.

This will show you how to get your foot in the door at companies where you don't otherwise have a connection. 

Lesson 8.3: Chapter 8 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!

Chapter 9: FROM SCREEN-2-SCREEN TO FACE-2-FACE 4 Lessons

Lesson 9.1: How Can Social Media Help Us Prospect?

One of the most common questions I hear is on how to best use social media and networking sites. Sometimes people will ask about which site is best, and many will lament that they are not using it as effectively as they believe they could be. 

In reality, I observe that many people who look to the internet first in their attempt to prospect are doing so in hopes to avoid the phone. Yet that does not deny that the emergence of social media over the past twenty years has created powerful channels through which people meet, become friends, and stay connected.

Lesson 9.2: The Major Platforms

In this lesson we’ll review through some fundamental points (and differences) among three of the most commonly used social media networks. They are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. I’m not saying that others (such as Meetup and Instagram) are not relevant. It’s just that: 

  • The environment does continue to change, as do the platforms themselves. Getting into the weeds of each one is not the focus of this program
  • Frankly, I’m not the be-all-end-all expert of all things social media, nor do I wish to be or present myself as one
  • Aside from understanding some fundamental points about the three platforms we will discuss, the big takeaways on how to actually leverage them will be found in the last lesson. Those points will never change, even if the platforms do.

So let’s dive in.

Lesson 9.3: The 12 Laws of Social Media Prospecting

What we have shared here in this chapter really only scratches the surface of the growing and changing world of social media. We only went over a few of the tools out there, but at this point, I think it is safe to say that LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are among the most popular. 

Yet, as in any community of people, be it virtual, geographical, professional, or otherwise, there do remain several key universal laws that must be followed if one is to prospect and flourish in these environments. I have outlined twelve of them, which at this time I believe covers the bases. 

So, take these guidelines into account. See how they apply to whatever applications you use—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Face2Face!

Lesson 9.4: Chapter 9 Quiz

Now it's time to test your knowledge. Don't worry! It's multiple choice and should only take you a few minutes to get through!