Right FIT Newsletter #142 – Prospecting, You’re the hero, Check engine lights

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you get more sales and marketing done in less time. . . next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • The place to look for new business is the source of your current business. Just as interesting people tend to hang out with other interesting people, your next referral is hanging out with your current customers. Attend an event with them and ask for introductions.
  • Unearthing value comes from digging into areas where you see, hear, or feel a divergence between what the prospect says and what you see happening. “Millennials don’t want to put in the hours,” they say, shaking their head. Looking around a half-empty office at 5:30 pm, you ask, “Does anyone?”
  • When you’re in the early stages of a decision with a prospect, stay naive. They don’t need another subject matter expert at that moment making assumptions. Be brave. Say, “Wait. . .can you tell me more about that?”
  • Each step your prospects take into the future, changes their future. Because they don’t express a need your services right now, doesn’t mean they never will. Stay in touch. (just make sure to add value when you do)


Being Human – Everyone is the hero.

“Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.”
– John Barth


Years ago I was part of a small business merger that, over the course of a few months, sprinted right up to the finish line multiple times, but one of the parties could not bring themselves to step over. There were numerous calls, texts, emails, late night wooing, and emotions that ranged from sticky sweet to outright threatening. All parties wanted the same successful outcome but trust was an issue. Then, about two weeks after it was left for dead, the owner came back and stepped over the finish line.

Very dramatic.

I tell you this story because in the aftermath of the deal, everyone involved became the hero. “It came down to my text. . .I think it was when I talked to them that night at the bar. . .you know, in the end, I was the only one she trusted. . .” We all took credit for the close, and that’s really the point of this section.

It has to be that way.

Every story you hear has a main character and a hero. The best stories from your life have you as the hero with the world as supporting characters. The reason is that our stories are usually told as part of a conversation, and conversation is a continuing give and take of stories. “Oh,” he says, “that reminds me of the time this one guy had to swoop in and save a multi-million dollar merger,” isn’t as interesting as, “You know, something you said reminds me of the time I had to swoop in and save a multi-million dollar merger.”

Stories relate to stories. The best conversational stories are ones where the storyteller is the hero. How does that relate to sales and selling or marketing? When you tell your company’s story, your company is the hero, or it should be. As positioning guru Mark Levy says, “Due in part to my effort. . .”

Good stuff.


Random Stuff

Check the engine

transmission warning light

Tired, bloated, and tired, I am driving back from visiting the youngest child in his new college digs. Just outside of St. Louis I stop at a QT and top off the tank, grabbing a soda, and Mike and Ikes for the road. I step on the gas and merge into traffic between two semi-trucks when the check engine light goes on.

I don’t see any error messages, note that it’s amber and not red,  saying this out loud, but to myself. Muttering, really. My lovely bride looks up from her phone and says, “it’s probably nothing. It’ll go away.”

A lot of thoughts roar through my head. It’s always something. It’s a check engine light. That’s always serious, right? As a matter of fact, I just put a few thousand bucks of work into this rig. Shouldn’t they have caught it if anything was wrong? Why does this always happen on a Sunday? Why are the Broncos playing so bad? Does she know anything about cars? Her Dad seems to. So why do I always seem to need to put gas into her car when I drive it? Where did all this semi-truck traffic come from? Where is the cloud cover?

I pull over at the next exit. “I’m going to check Dr. Google.” I say.

“Whatever,” she says, not looking up from her phone.

At a tiny gas station in Missouri, I get to researching while she stretches and walks into the mini-mart. Dr. Google suggests maybe I didn’t put the gas cap on right. No way. I check, even though it’s dumb, and maybe the gas cap unscrewed a little too easy. Maybe.

We get back on the road. “Did you fix it?” she asks. “Not sure,” I say, gripping the steering wheel a bit tighter, and keep driving.

A few hours later we pull safely into our driveway, the check engine light still glowing. I’ll get to it tomorrow, I say to no one in particular.

“I’m sure it will be alright,” wy wife assures me. I suppress an eye roll.

Monday morning I head off to an appointment, running just a little late. I’m halfway across town when I notice something. The light is off. Nothing. Just a plain, dark dashboard. I sigh.

How does she know these things?



PS – Happy Birthday to Snickers the Cat. I have no idea when his actual birthday is, but he’s getting old enough that I should say Happy Birthday whenever I see him. I think he’s 18. He’s on my lap right now, so sorry about typos.

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