Book Summary: Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount

Quick Summary: Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount focuses on the foundation of sales: getting customers. The key is to have a steady stream of prospective clients. Blount explains how to use a variety of techniques, such as texting, in-person visits, social media, e-mail, and cold calling.

Blount also addresses the mental aspects of being a salesperson. It takes planning, determination, and perseverance. It’s a simple job, but it’s far from easy.

You do not have to read the entire book if you don’t have time. This book summary provides an overview of everything you can learn from it.

Let’s get started without further ado.

Fanatical Prospecting Book Summary

The Secret to Superstar Salespeople

Superstars are salespeople who consistently deliver results. They are competitive as well as people-savvy. They are also extremely difficult to understand because if being a superstar was easy, every salesperson would be one.

The key to becoming a great salesperson is simple, but not easy. It’s all about obsessive prospecting. Superstars are obsessed with having a steady influx of new clients. That is the distinction between excellent and average salespeople.

Poor salespeople are always looking for an easy way to make a sale. This has to stop if you want to succeed. Instead of complaining about what you can’t control, concentrate on what you can. All you have control over are your actions, reactions, and mindset, so start working on those right now.

A fanatical prospector has seven mindsets: 1) optimistic and enthusiastic, 2) competitive, 3) confident, 4) relentless, 5) thirsty for knowledge, 6) systematic and efficient, and 7) adaptive and flexible. Every successful person you meet exhibits all of these mindsets.

The Importance of Interrupting

As a successful salesperson, you will need to interrupt clients with a text, phone call, email, or in-person visit. The willingness of the salesperson to interrupt is more important than the quality of the call when engaging with a prospective client.

You must not be afraid to interrupt someone’s day, particularly a previous client. Because they are afraid of rejection, mediocre salespeople spend far too much time making excuses not to prospect rather than prospecting. Do not be afraid of being rejected!

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The Laws of Prospecting

One common justification is that you are better at one type of prospecting than another, such as in-person versus over-the-phone. It shouldn’t make a difference. Not prospecting will cost you money and clients in the long run.

Balance is the best prospecting strategy. To get the best return on your prospecting time investment, you should balance all types of prospecting tactics, such as phone, in-person, e-mail, networking, and cold calling. A winning strategy combines various techniques and client channels.

You are not above any method of prospecting if you are just starting out. When they first started out, every successful salesperson did the same thing.

There are three prospecting laws that will help you keep a steady stream of prospects: The Universal Law of Need, the 30-Day Rule, and the Law of Replacement are all applicable.

According to the Universal Law of Need, the more you need something, the less likely it is to happen. In terms of prospecting, this means never allowing your pool of prospects to become extremely low, as you will become desperate and less likely to make a sale.

According to the 30-Day Rule, prospecting in the current 30-day period will eventually pay off for the next 90 days. You will never put off prospecting again once you have internalized this simple rule.

The Law of Replacement considers your average closing ratio when determining how many prospects you must constantly replace. It teaches salespeople that they must constantly replace prospects at a rate faster than their closing ratio.

Knowing Your Numbers

Elite salespeople, like elite athletes, are numerate. Once you know your efficiency and effectiveness numbers, you can start making adjustments and correlations to achieve even greater, and more consistent, success.

Each great salesperson has their own method of tracking their numbers, but they all have one thing in common: they know exactly where they stand. You won’t be able to deceive yourself about how well or poorly your sales are going if you know your numbers.

No Room for Perfectionists

Prospecting constantly is preferable to having a few “perfect” prospect calls. Perfectionism in sales entails conducting extensive research on your clients, overworking your script, and insisting on calling your client at precisely the right time. None of these things will guarantee a sale; they will only result in a loss of productivity.

Call reluctance and, eventually, call paralysis can result from over-analyzing your prospects. You can worry all you want about the outcome of a phone call with a prospective client, but if you don’t call, you’ll never truly know.

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Blocking Your Schedule

Many salespeople struggle to find enough time to prospect, but top salespeople organize their days by blocking it into specific periods during which they focus on specific activities, removing distractions.

If you find yourself getting bogged down in non-sales activities, remember that you are a salesperson whose job it is to sell. Say no to those who ask you to do non-sales activities, or find a way to do them outside of your peak prospecting hours. Prospecting should always be prioritized.

Delegating entails relinquishing control and placing trust in others to complete tasks. Effective communication is the key to effective delegation. Always remember to follow up with those you delegate tasks to, and invest in your relationships with those you delegate to – it will be worth it in the long run.

Blocking your time limits waste because you must fit what needs to be done into an allotted amount of time. Reduce dead time between calls by conducting your research and having your client list ready.

The Objectives of Prospecting

Prospecting has four goals: 1) set an appointment, 2) gather information and qualify, 3) close a sale, and 4) build familiarity.

Setting an appointment, which means scheduling a meeting on your calendar and your prospective client’s calendar, is the most valuable activity in the sales process. Anything less is not a genuine appointment.

The most important aspect of setting appointments is determining whether or not your prospects are potential buyers. Do not waste time on prospects who will not buy.

When trying to close a sale in one call, you must get past the initial skepticism, ask questions to qualify the opportunity, and gain agreement to engage in a sales conversation right away.

It may take several attempts to establish familiarity with cold clients, but with effective prospect lists and clear objectives, your results will undoubtedly improve.

Telephone Prospecting

Many businesses do not call prospects in an organized manner; instead, they call prospects at random. Instead, organize your prospect list based on how likely they are to purchase your product or service.

Top companies and salespeople structure their prospect database in the shape of a pyramid, with the prospects they know the least about at the bottom. The higher you go up the pyramid, the more information you have about the prospects.

CRMs

A CRM system, or Customer Relationship Management system, is the most important tool for a salesperson because it allows you to save personal information on prospects and clients. The system makes it easier for you to manage and access information about your prospects.

Take on the CEO mindset when it comes to your CRM and own it – take ownership and don’t wait for others to remind you to update it. CRMs allow you to keep your prospect list full and organized.

Filling out your database gives you a clear picture of your prospects and allows you to organize them better on your prospecting lists. It takes time and effort, but it pays off in the long run because you can sell to and retain clients more efficiently and effectively.

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Familiarity

According to the Law of Familiarity, the more familiar you and your prospect are, the more likely your prospect will return your communications and eventually do business with you.

Spend time getting to know your clients because it will allow you to communicate with them more freely. You won’t have time to establish these types of relationships with the majority of your clients, so focus your efforts on the most valuable prospects.

1) persistent and consistent prospecting, 2) referrals and instructions, 3) networking, 4) company and brand familiarity, and 5) personal branding are the five levers that help build familiarity over time.

Social Prospecting

Social selling, also known as social prospecting, is an important component of a well-balanced prospecting strategy. Social media has altered how people communicate, as well as how businesses communicate with and learn about their customers. However, as this type of data becomes more widely available, it also becomes more expensive.

Other forms of prospecting cannot be replaced by social selling. While it can help speed up your prospecting efforts, it should not be your sole method of prospecting.

It is critical to understand that social selling is not the same as selling. It includes activities such as social research, networking, prospecting, and trigger-event monitoring that generate more qualified and motivated prospects.

Personal branding and familiarity, 2) inbound prospecting via education and insights, 3) trigger-event and buying-cycle awareness, 4) research and information gathering, 5) strategic prospecting campaigns, and 6) outbound prospecting are the six objectives of social prospecting.

The primary goal of social selling is to gain prospect familiarity and trust. You want to ensure that they find you credible and trustworthy, as well as reach out to and connect with more people to broaden your prospect pool.

The Prospect’s POV

Prospects do not want to waste their time listening to salespeople regurgitate product and company information. Instead, your message to prospects should be clear and concise. Spending time with you should be meaningful to them for reasons other than yours.

You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your prospect. The words you use and the manner in which you say them are extremely important. Nonverbal communication includes tone, inflection, pitch, speed, body language, facial expressions, your appearance, and written words.

When speaking with a prospect, keep the conversation focused on a measurable business goal that your service or product can achieve. It should upset your prospect’s current state, and you should have proof or evidence to back it up.

The power of because is based on a human behavior principle: when we ask someone for a favor, they are more likely to agree if we give them a reason. When prospecting, always provide a reason why you’re contacting them – always say because.

Bridges in prospecting connect clients with other groups dealing with similar issues, or if you’re dealing with high-level executives, they help connect them with your product. Make your connections emotional, insightful, and tangible. Make an emotional, rational, and financial appeal to them.

The primary reason prospecting becomes overcomplicated is that salespeople are unsure of what they want. Ask confidently for what you want, listen to their response, and be prepared to deal with brush-offs and objections.

Telephone Prospecting

The telephone is the most effective prospecting tool because, if you are organized, you can reach more prospects in less time than any other prospecting channel, including e-mail.

The root of most salespeople’s fears of making sales calls over the phone is that they were never taught how to prospect over the phone or did not receive adequate training.

The most successful salespeople devote an hour or two to prospecting over the phone. They establish objectives for those blocks and eliminate all distractions.

1) get their attention by using their name, 2) identify yourself, 3) tell them why you are calling, 4) give them a “because” for your product or service, and 5) ask for what you want and shut up.

When leaving a voicemail, the five steps are as follows: 1) identify yourself, 2) say your phone number twice, 3) explain why you called, 4) give them a reason to call you back, and 5) repeat your name and phone number twice more.

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RBOs

Prospecting rejections, brush-offs, and objections, or RBOs, are a common occurrence and a major reason why people are afraid of it. To become a great salesperson, you must learn how to deal with rejection and maintain control of a conversation.

The key to dealing with RBOs is to simply anticipate and prepare for them. RBOs are not uncommon. When you see or hear one, you should have a prepared response to turn it into an actual conversation.

The RBO Turnaround Framework consists of three steps: 1) anchor, 2) disrupt, and 3) ask. An anchor is something that will assist you in coping with the initial emotional jolt of rejection. Disrupting implies altering your prospect’s expectations. Finally, you will have to ask for what you desire.

Gatekeepers

Gatekeepers are individuals hired to protect the time of those they serve. Gatekeepers are typically assistants who must fend off salespeople who try to get time from their boss.

When dealing with gatekeepers, there are seven keys to remember: 1) be approachable, 2) say “please,” 3) Be open and honest with them; 4) Communicate with them; 5) Don’t be cheesy, 6) Ask for assistance, and 7) Change the game by attempting to avoid the gatekeeper.

You can change the game by calling before or after the gatekeeper goes to work, using social media inboxes, meeting with them in person, sending an e-mail, or sending a handwritten note.

Persistence is always the best way to reach out to difficult-to-reach decision-makers. It always wins in sales.

In-Person Prospecting

Plan in-person prospecting visits around scheduled appointments. Make a list of prospects who are close to one another so that you can visit them all in one day. But don’t forget to give yourself some breathing room in between.

The primary goal of in-person prospecting is to collect qualifying information. You’ll use it to help build your prospect database, but you’ll still go into every meeting ready to close. You should never show up unprepared to sell.

To plan effective in-person prospecting, follow these five steps: 1) research the decision-maker you’re meeting with, 2) personalize your approach for each prospect, 3) develop an objective for every call, 4) be prepared to close a deal, and 5) log calls, notes, and follow-up tasks in your CRM.

In-person prospecting checklists are very similar to phone prospecting checklists: approach with confidence, identify yourself and why you’re there, gather information, ask for what you want, and prepare for and work around RBOs.

E-mail Prospecting

E-mail is another strategy you can incorporate into a well-rounded prospecting strategy. You can send emails whenever it is convenient for you, extending your prospecting window and increasing efficiency. Prospects, on the other hand, can easily block you if they believe you are spam.

The first rule of e-mail prospecting is to make it to your prospect’s inbox without being blocked or flagged as spam. This can be accomplished by refraining from sending bulk e-mail, avoiding images, hyperlinks, and attachments, and avoiding spammy words/phrases such as “special buy now!”

The second rule of email prospecting is that your message must be opened. Building familiarity with prospects is critical for getting their emails opened. The subject line of an e-mail is also very important in getting it opened at all.

An effective e-mail contains four components: 1) the Hook, 2) relatability, 3) the Bridge, and 4) the Ask. The Hook entices the prospect to read your e-mail, while Relatability indicates that it is relevant to your prospect’s problems and appeals to their emotions. The Bridge should explain to the prospect what they will receive if they give you what you want, and the Ask simply means to ask for what you want.

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Text Prospecting

As businesses of all sizes shift away from traditional phone systems and toward cloud-based communication, text messaging is becoming a more valuable prospecting channel.

Text messages are an excellent way to get into the minds of prospects. Texts are most effective when used after face-to-face interactions to send thank you messages and make plans for a formal meeting in the future.

Texts can also be useful in nurturing prospects who aren’t in the market yet but are qualified and with whom you already have a working relationship.

The seven rules of text message prospecting are as follows: 1) identify yourself, 2) ensure your message is important, 3) be direct and brief, 4) avoid abbreviations to avoid appearing unprofessional, 5) re-read your text before sending it, 6) use only transparent links, and 7) track your responses and prospects.

Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is required to become the best salesperson. Every job will present challenges; you will either succeed or fail. Mediocre actions will yield mediocre results, which will not suffice in sales.

The first of four pillars of mental toughness is desire. Make a list of your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Your motivation should make those steps seem worthwhile.

The second pillar is mental resilience, which can be enhanced by investing time and resources in oneself. You will not be resilient if your mind is not in order.

Outlearn is the third pillar, which means investing in your own learning. Everything you need to know can be found in a book, so get started!

The final pillar is physical resilience, which is critical for meeting the physical and mental demands of being a salesperson. It is founded on three pillars: 1) regular exercise, 2) adequate sleep, and 3) a healthy diet.

The Salesperson’s Mindset

“When it’s time to go home, make one more call,” are the 11 words that will change a salesperson’s life. To succeed at the highest level, you must pay for it with hard work, sacrifices, and doing things you despise, such as making that one last call.

Train yourself to never give up when faced with adversity. Take on the underdog mentality – nothing is too big for you to overcome. There will always be another challenge to complete and more success to achieve. So think about it: how badly do you want it?

Fanatical Prospecting Review

There is a lot of information in this book about prospecting, as it says on the cover. Jeb goes through the process of why prospect, the different reasons for the need for a prospecting culture within a company, and the importance of prospecting as a salesperson. Go for it if you are new to sales or just want to learn more about prospecting. We have been prospecting for years, so this isn’t anything new, but hey, if you’re looking for prospecting 101, then this will be helpful. This is a good start.

Jeb Blount’s writing style is simple to grasp. He makes lists of his tips and routines. Consuming this information is very simple, but in the larger context, distinguishing between each of these many lists becomes somewhat difficult, especially because some of these lists contain very similar, if not identical information.

Blount illustrates information with a variety of charts and graphs, including some of his lists. He also draws heavily on his experience as a salesperson and sales instructor.

About The Author

Jeb Blount is an author and speaker on sales, leadership and customer service. He travels the world delivering keynote addresses, training seminars and workshops. He also works directly with companies to cultivate a high-performance sales culture, optimize talent, and apply more effective organizational approaches.

Blount has written several books on sales, business development and leadership, including Virtual Selling (2020), Objections (2018) and Sales EQ (2017).

Fanatical Prospecting Quotes

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. —Dale Carnegie

 

“There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.”

 

“Here is the brutal reality. If you don’t have a plan, you will become a part of someone else’s plan. You can either take control of your life or someone else will use you to enhance theirs. It’s your choice.”

 

“Time blocking is transformational for salespeople. It changes everything. When you get disciplined at blocking your time and concentrating your power, you see a massive and profound impact on your productivity. You become incredibly efficient when you block your day into short chunks of time for specific activities. You get more accomplished in a shorter time with far better results.”

View our larger collection of the best Fanatical Prospecting quotes. 

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