Below is an excerpt from the book Sales Tales: The Hustle, Humor, and Lessons From a Life in Sales. The snippet below is from the chapter about prospecting for business called Keep Your Antennae Up.
Sales Tale: Watching Reality Television Can Lead to New Clients People always ask me, “Mandi, how do you find new business or clients?” I tell them, “Business is everywhere, you just have to look up.” I really believe this. If you keep your antennae up, business is all around you. Literally look up, eavesdrop, listen to conversations, read magazines, look for clues—get your head out of your stinkin’ phone, and observe your surroundings.
For example, I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker many years ago. Patti Stanger is a matchmaker for millionaires. She vets candidates for the millionaires to ensure the dating prospects were not gold diggers, and she set them up with potential wife/husband material. The show was pure gold—and it ended up being pure gold for my wallet too. While watching the show, I noticed the girl Patti was vetting was a meeting planner for an aerospace company in Orange County. I Googled her first name+ "Meeting Planner Aerospace Company Orange County” and VOILA, there she was. I called the main line of the business and asked to be connected to the girl. I got her voicemail. As I was transferred around, I paid attention to the last four digits of the line they were transferring me to, and tried the main line plus the last four digits and eventually found her direct line.
I called this girl for two months. I never left a message.
I called at different times of the day and week.
Finally, on the thirteenth call, she answered.
Immediately the tone of her voice was tentative, as if she regretted picking up her phone line. This is a standard tone I was used to hearing when I prospected for new business. The tone fueled me, it never scared me. I had a personal goal of turning that frown upside down—just like Lionel Kiddie City wanted me too.
Here’s how the conversation went.
Millionaire Matchmaker Candidate/Potential New Customer(M.M.C.P.N.C.): “Hello” (annoyed voice)
Me: “So, I have to know what happened on the date, was he annoying or was it awesome?”
M.M.C.P.N.C.: “What? Who is This?” Me: “Mandi Kobasic (my maiden name) with HPN Global. I am calling about your meetings, but am more interested in hearing how that Millionaire Matchmaker date went.”
A PAUSE. THIS COULD GO ANYWHERE—AND IT WAS A RISK. M.M.C.P.N.C.: “It was awful, the guy was a jerk. Why are you calling me again?”
Me: “Sorry the date sucked. The guy did seem like a jerk. Anyway, I find hotels all over the world for your meetings. I have been calling you for two months. I saw that you were a meeting planner on the show and thought I could help.”
M.M.C.P.N.C.: “Honestly, you’re the first person that has tracked me down from that show for a business reason. Most of the calls or mail that I’ve received have been from perverts or weirdos. What can you do for my meetings?”
I proceeded to ask how she is currently sourcing her meetings and how she finds hotels. We interjected every now and again with snippets from the show. I was obsessed with Patti and wanted to know more about her and the process overall. By the time we hung up, I had secured two new meetings.
1. Be persistent.
2. Make the calls or emails. Don’t stop at one. Keep going.
3. Pay attention to your surroundings, even when you’re watching TV. There are leads everywhere.
Mandi Graziano is the author of Sales Tales: The Hustle, Humor, and Lessons From a Life in Sales. The book will be available for Pre Order on Amazon starting August 20, 2021. Book Mandi to speak at your next live or virtual event. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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