When things seem hopeless, keep prospecting

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

A young man who has moved to Johannesburg to start up a computer business has been prospecting in light industrial areas for a month now with only one sale. He was running a computer business of his own in KwaZulu-Natal in a small town but now is starting up from scratch.

He’s done cold calling, knocking on doors of every business he could find in the first industrial area that he tackled. From these efforts of prospecting over several days he made one sale. He has now moved on to another light industrial area and will be prospecting there for the next few days and perhaps weeks. The young computer entrepreneur has chosen these light industrial areas because they are not too far away from where he has set up residence. Thinking ahead, he doesn’t want to be too far away from his potential customers because of the sky-high fuel costs.

Starting out from scratch, cold calling and prospecting with no more than a shoeshine, a smile and your expertise is a road far less travelled today. Instead of grovelling for a job at someplace where you are grudgingly appointed and feel just like a number, this young man has chosen the hard path.

Yes, it will be very hard for this young computer business person in the beginning but eventually his determination, perseverance and persistence will pay off. But it’s the in between, the transition period, the testing ground where he walks now that requires courage. I know of people who have far more experience, expertise and selling know-how that have reached a stage where they don’t have “fire in their belly” as this young man does. Instead of talking about it, this young man is out there, facing rejection day after day.

I was once in a similar position, cold calling on wholesalers day after day with prospects saying they didn’t need what I was selling. The sales territory was new to me, I had no previous experience, everyone seemed like strangers but I had to keep carrying on. After calling on one wholesaler near Krugersdorp I eventually made my first sale. From then on, leveraging the confidence and success of this first sale, I was able to go on to build up my territory. It’s a lonely world out there on the road by yourself calling on strangers and being treated like an irritant or nuisance. This is where you’ve got to keep your self-confidence and self-esteem high.

I am waiting for this young computer business person to find eventual success. Failure, as we know, is only really temporary defeat and as a wise man once said is usually a blessing in disguise. Defeat is a destructive force, he said only when you accept it as failure. Failures, he added, are just stepping stones on the road to finding your passion.

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