Show #448: A prospect for what you sell

Show #448: A prospect for what you sell

Your product, service, message and mission need a constant flow of the right people, “viable prospects,” getting exposure. Zig gives us a professional class on the topic, then we break down the high points. If you think you aren’t in sales…you’re listening to the wrong podcast. We all need this message, and will benefit from Zig’s counsel! Thanks to ZipRecruiter and Princess Cruise Lines for their support of this episode.


[00:00] Welcome to The Ziglar Show, episode 448. Today we talk about a topic that fewer and fewer people are aware they need training in, but more people than ever need help. If you have a product or service you’d like to offer others…if you have an idea or mission you know would benefit mankind or just those close to you, if you are single and desire a mate, or if you simply want the ability to influence anyone toward anything that could benefit them…you need a set of skills. Zig refers to them as…sales skills. I’ll explain more in just a moment…

[01:27] Hey, everyone, this is Kevin Miller, host of The Ziglar Show. Sales was Zig Ziglar’s primary profession, aside from being one of the world’s greatest authorities on personal development, inspiration, and motivation. As he famously quoted, “Everyone is in sales,” and I couldn’t agree more.

[02:08] Now, he was often hired to speak directly to literal “sales professionals,” and he used sales vernacular, where I think sometimes people who don’t view themselves as in a sales profession get lost. This is my preface to entreat you to listen and believe that this message is highly relevant for you. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t be a Ziglar listener.

[04:00] Before I bring you Zig’s message, heads up that the next show is a Q&A show that I’ll be doing with Tom Ziglar. We continue to get requests for more Q&A shows. If you want to get a question to us on your personal journey of “inspiring your true performance,” go to or just email us at [email protected]

[04:58] Finding someone willing to buy, how does one stay in business and the profession of selling? One of the ongoing debates of every sales get-together -- meaning when two sales people start talking! What is the most important part of the selling process? The reality is, if you can end all the processes of sales, you are now willing to stay in the selling profession.

[05:40] The concern among the outstanding salespeople is almost unanimous. The prospect is the most important key to sales success. Well, what is the prospect? The prospect is the individual or group capable of making the decision of which product or service the salesperson is selling. There is, obviously, a difference between a prospect and a suspect. A suspect is a name that could be a prospect.

[06:15] A prospect is in need of the product or desires to own that product, and has the financial capacity to implement that decision. You spend time with a suspect; you invest time with a prospect. So, the question comes, when do people prospect? And the answer is, all the time. Prospecting, when done graciously, can be done in any environment, including social situations or wherever people are present.

[06:55] Once again, the best-paying hard work in the world is selling. And the easiest work in the world is selling. When you get in the business of professional selling or, more important, when the business gets in you, you will notice that prospecting is not a choice. It is truly an exciting opportunity for success.

[07:25] You gotta circulate before you can percolate. There is no denying the fact that activity in the world of sales is critical. You need to be making the contacts and calls. The alert salesperson is constantly in the state of awareness, with eyes and ears open for business. In the minds of most people, COD stands for cash on delivery. But in the world of prospecting, COD has an entirely different meaning. The C stands for communication. The O stands for observation. The D stands for dedication.

[08:45] One of the keys in prospecting is to always remember the person with whom you have already establishrf a relationship is probably your best prospect for achieving your additional goals.

[10:25] The successful salesperson learns that a customer who is completely sold on a product but will not share the name of another prospect for the product he is purchasing is guilty of “the sand of the desert.” The sand of the desert for the sales professional is not actively prospecting every day, and especially among the people for whom you are presenting presentations.

[13:45] All right, so let’s break this message down.

[15:08] So, back to my intro…if you have a skill, ability, product, or message you want to get to people, the most important thing, as Zig said, is…prospecting. Getting in front of the right people. Who are they?

[15:55] Zig says a prospect is an individual or group able to make a decision. Then he distinguishes between a prospect and a suspect.

[16:30] The thing I see people fall victim to is thinking everyone is viable for what they are selling, and or…they put most of their efforts into broadcasting to the masses. Like with social media. Taking your offering and blasting it around Facebook or Twitter or wherever is like a billboard; you are just trying to interrupt everyone. Many, probably most, are not viable candidates.

[17:10] Folks, there is no product, service, or message that everyone is a prospect for. Every offering on the planet has a specific target market.

[18:55] Knowing your primary target market and promoting to them is the heart of prospecting.

[19:06] Zig goes on to say a prospect
1. Has a need for the product;
2. Has a possible desire to own that product;
3. Has financial capacity to implement that decision.

[19:22] You spend time with suspects; you invest time with prospects.

[19:33] I share my story of a guy (investment, college) who conned me to lunch and how he violated this…and, of course, isn’t in business anymore and came to be avoided by all. So sad, as what he offered may have been great.

[23:45] Now, let me comment on something Zig said next:
He asked, when should you prospect?
• All the time
• Any environment
• Social situations
• Airplane
• Wherever people are present

[24:25] But, hold on. Most all of us have had experiences with someone who is always looking to sell anyone and everyone on something, and we loathe it. It may be why the terms “selling” and “sales” are dirty to you.

[24:40] To Zig, sales is caring about people you can help with your product or service, and helping them get the help they need.

[24:55] So, his prospecting was not looking to offer what he sold to anyone and everyone (except for hope and encouragement!!!), but to always be on the lookout for a viable prospect.

[26:15] If I’m at church and talking with people…I’m just there to be with them. But imagine if someone is lamenting about their desire to progress in their life, but they are lacking motivation and suffering with their self-image. Would that not be a viable time, if I cared about them, to say… “Uh, hey. Have you ever heard of Zig Ziglar? Can I send you a book?”

[27:16] That’s what Zig is talking about. Always being there for somebody you can help.

[27:22] I’ve seen people who have knowledge, skills, abilities, products, services, messages…that could save someone’s life, but they won’t ever speak about it while out and about in their personal lives because they are too afraid to come off…sales. I understand, I truly do. And I’ve done it, I’m ashamed to say. That’s why we are all here to learn under Zig!

[27:55] But let me speak to all our listeners, the majority of whom are involved with a product or service or message where they benefit from a sale. Which, folks…is ALL of us, to a degree -- but some more on the front lines.

[28:24] Especially with artists, solopreneurs and very small businesses. What Zig is speaking to with prospecting is huge. Many are focused on serving the next customer, client, or patient they get, and, meanwhile, they aren’t lining up more. So, your business is up and down and up and down. Knowing how many inquiries it takes to make a sale will tell you how much marketing, promotion, and “prospecting” you need to be doing. So many complete a sale…finish up with a customer, get paid, then look up and realize…there isn’t another on the horizon. And they go out and fervently look for business. When they find some, they give it full attention. When it’s over…back to zero again.

[29:45] Some part of every day there should be prospecting happening. Marketing. Promotion. Getting what you offer in front of viable people, your target market.

[30:19] Hey, got specific questions on this topic, regarding your personal business or endeavor? Again, go to, or email us at [email protected] and Tom and I will address it!

[32:31] The last thing I wanna hear is something that Zig talked about. The best person, often the best customer or client to sell to, is someone with whom you have already done business. The repeat and referral is the most profitable business to have.

“Woah, Look at YOU….!”