From my point of view, Fanatical Prospecting is a great personal development book. It is probably good for prospecting too.
I don’t prospect. I fear rejection like any sane person, and according to Jeb Blount, the author of Fanatical Prospecting
prospecting is hard, grueling, rejection-dense work.”
Thus, I built my business ventures to avoid prospecting and rejection. My customers come to me; I don’t look for them. I qualify them before I get on the call with them. And I don’t really need new customers. My attrition rates are low. A few new customers a month is more than enough for me. When COVID robbed me of my health and sanity, I did nothing in my business for three months. My revenue slumped only by about 50%.
I didn’t really need to read this book. I read it because it was a lecture in my mastermind. And I don’t regret it at all.
Usually, I start my reviews with some negatives. Well, I cannot do it with Fanatical Prospecting. I’m the guy who didn’t need the book, and I’m delighted with it! I liked everything in Fanatical Prospecting. On the other hand, I can enumerate a massive list of…
1. Very well written.
I’m an avid reader. I read 50-100 books a year. And Fanatical Prospecting stood out, significantly.
It’s a nonfiction book that reads a bit like a thriller. It has just enough stories to illustrate the points. These are real-life stories, short and to the point. The author doesn’t beat the dead horse. The material is meaty and delivered in a common, simple, understandable language.
This is just a great read. Which leads me to another PRO…
2. Extremely Quotable.
I have 157 highlights of this book in my Kindle. It easily positions it among the top 5% of the books I read. Maybe even 1%.
Most of those highlights were great soundbites – powerful one-liners, like:
In sales you are owed nothing!”
“Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.”
“Elite salespeople, like elite athletes, track everything.”
“Effective delegation begins with effective communication.”
The above is just a sample out of dozens and dozens of great quotes I highlighted.
3. Brother from Another Mother.
I also liked the book because it was so in line with my own personal philosophy. I found myself nodding furiously in agreement about every other chapter.
The importance of tracking? Checked.
You cannot be delusional and successful at the same time.
Delusion gets you nowhere.”
The importance of perseverance? Checked.
Just remember. In sales persistence always wins. Always.”
The importance of small consistent daily actions? Checked.
Every major failure in my life has been a direct result of a collapse in my self-discipline to do the little things every day. Frankly, that is all failure really is.”
Every fear is real? Checked.
This is why you feel physically anxious before you ask. Your mind reels, palms sweat, stomach tightens, and muscles become tense as you subconsciously prepare for ‘no.’ This is the root cause of your feeling of fear.”
C’mon! This is the exact description of what I had felt when I worked on overcoming my shyness. To the letter. It’s like Jeb had been in my head and described my bodily sensations.
4. Secrets of Trade.
Jeb has the amazing ability of getting to the essence of things. Fanatical Prospecting is full of tiny tidbits revealing secrets hidden in plain sight. Just a few of them:
The secret: Speak in public, regularly.”
This refers to the secret of being good with sales calls. I wouldn’t have ever thought of it. But hey, Jeb is the expert here. If he states that public speaking makes you a better salesman, who am I to argue?
There is only one technique that really works for getting what you want on a prospecting touch. Ask.”
Amen to that. We overcomplicate things, not only in the sales process, but in life. One technique; drop mike.
The easiest, fastest way to get someone’s attention is to use the most beautiful word in the world to them—their name.”
How to Win Friends and Influence People 101. Yet, it’s the underutilized secret even for those who read the book.
The ‘single most powerful technique’ to get past gatekeepers is to use please twice.”
“Yes, it’s as easy as this. ‘Please, could you connect me with your boss, please?'”
5. Ruthlessly Honest.
I loved how the book started – from telling why the sales profession is so hard and so profitable at the same time.
Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.”
Jeb Blount doesn’t beat around the bush. He goes straight to the point and he doesn’t try to paint the sky pink. If something is “hard, grueling, rejection-dense” (another of his description of prospecting), he states it in plain words.
The author is also not afraid to articulate his position on things that get on his nerves. They get on my nerves too.
Political correctness has run amuck.”
“In your life, mediocrity is like a broke uncle. Once he moves into your house, it is nearly impossible to get him to leave.”
Not hilarious. Just funny enough to crack a smile from time to time and lighten the mood. And Jeb’s sense of humor is right down my alley.
Privacy? Forget about privacy. You are in sales.”
“(…)smartphone. Twenty minutes later, you find yourself watching a video of a chimpanzee riding a giraffe around a circus tent and can’t remember how you got there.”
“Get it through your thick skull that nobody cares about you or what you have to say. They want to talk about themselves.”
7. Productivity Tips.
I consider the productivity tips sprinkled throughout the book to be the most universal message of Fanatical Prospecting. Seriously, stay-at-home moms could have used them with success.
For salespeople, though, most time management problems are self-inflicted.”
Most time management problems are self-inflicted for every profession where you are free to choose your own schedule. Every freelancer, health practitioner with a private practice, business owner or even independent specialist in the corpo environment commits the same productivity sins.
The two biggest prospecting derailers for sales professionals are e-mail and mobile devices.”
“Those are the two biggest derailers for everyone who works with a mobile device and/or email.”
“You cannot be efficient when you are constantly being distracted.”
The above applies to virtually everybody. Yet, with the stubbornness worthy of a better cause, everybody tries to multitask.
The most expensive thing you can do in sales is spend your time with the wrong prospect.”
That hit too close to home. I already pre-qualify my prospects; yet, still the most worthless time I spent is on the prospecting calls with someone I shouldn’t have been speaking in the first place.
8. Personal Development.
Especially the last part about mental toughness was very inspiring. If Jeb wasn’t a great salesman, he could’ve become a great motivational speaker.
Mental toughness is just icing on the cake. The whole book is full of powerful statements which applies directly to one’s ability to be honest with themselves and do the work. Self-discipline, self-awareness, proper planning, mental attitude – those things are the part of the sales and prospecting processes as much as they are part of life.
As I already stated, I didn’t need to read Fanatical Prospecting very much. I’m a business owner, but I’m in the early stage of my business, where my sales skills are not crucial for my success.
However, as a solopreneur, I am my business. So, while the prospecting message was mostly an interesting piece of research for me, the personal development teachings ‘in the background’ were the most valuable for me.
I recommend this book for every entrepreneur. If your business depends on your sales skills, you will find it doubly valuable.
However, I found Fanatical Prospecting a personal development book first and foremost. And a great one in this field too.
The last time I checked, every single human being could have used some more personal development. Thus, I wholeheartedly recommend Jeb Blount’s book to everyone.