The Difference Between Prospects and Customers. –

There’s a lot of jargon in the sales industry.

And paradoxically, much of it is perpetuated by
under performers indulging in creative avoidance
of the real issue of selling which always was, and
always will be, to ‘enthusiastically tell your story
to four or five people a day’. (Frank Bettger- ‘How
I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling’)

A case in point was highlighted at a course I gave on
selling last week.

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A girl, partial to the sound of her own voice, asked
me to define the difference between a prospect and
a customer.

I began by tracing the origins of the words back to the
Latin where ‘pro’ means ‘for’ and ‘speculare’ is
the verb ‘to speculate’. I elaborated further to
mention that during the days of the great gold
rush the word ‘prospector’ assumed a far more
popular notoriety.

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And then, just as people’s eyes started to glaze
over with boredom and ennui, the day was saved
by Flaherty.

Flaherty was a great buddy of mine who passed
on to his eternal reward some time ago. And, as
a result of advances in technology he continues
to communicate with me on a regular basis.

At this precise tipping point in winning/losing
the attention of my audience Flaherty intervened
to give his tuppence halfpenny on the difference
between ‘prospects’ and ‘customers’.

‘Padraic, the first thing I did when I crossed over
was to check out the accommodation. The first
place I checked out was Hell and I was utterly blown

I was greeted at the gate by a beautiful girl. She
was welcoming, attentive and listened to my every need
before showing me around the top spots in Hell. She
offered to put me up, free gratis for the night, to sample
the delights of Hell. No expense or effort was spared on
entertaining me and I enjoyed a wonderful night.

So impressed was I

with the service in Hell that next
morning I signed up forever without even visiting

The reality sadly is that Hell is not what the girl promised
it would be at all.

Only yesterday I complained bitterly to that same girl that
there was a massive difference between how I was treated
that first day compared to how I was being treated now.

‘Flaherty’ she replied, ‘The first day you came in here you
were a ‘prospect.’ Now you’re a ‘customer’.

I think we can profit enormously from Flaherty’s experience
in Hell.

How often have we been culpable of promising the sun, moon
and stars to prospects in order to win them only to eschew all

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when they become customers.

Remember that your number one business strategy is retaining
your existing customers. What will you do this week to provide
a ‘prospect’ like service to your ‘customers?’

All you need is Smácht.


PS. If you’re interested in learning how Smácht can benefit
your business sign up for ‘Put Smácht on Your Business and Life in
2012.’ For details contact Anne on 091 865340 or

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