The worst that can happen is nothing

What’s the worst that can happen? The worst that can happen is nothing, which is what’s already happening. So are you already living your worst case scenario?

I see a lot of reluctance in sales reps and people in general to pick up the phone, or try something new and different because they are running all the worst case scenarios in their heads and that discourages them from committing to making a move. But if you really think about it, what is the worst that could happen? What’s the worst that could happen if you send that InMail, make that cold call, approach someone at a networking event? The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out or they don’t respond which is already what is guaranteed to happen if you don’t do anything in the first place. So the worst that can happen is nothing, which is what is already happening!

My brother has been looking for a temporary job while he applies to medical school, and I can tell he’s reluctant to apply for jobs because he knows it will only be temporary until he starts school and is anticipating the rejection. But this fear of rejection cannot be what stops you from trying. You will never get a job if you don’t apply. And if you do apply it’s likely you still might not get the job, but you are already living your worst case scenario by not trying, you only increase your chances of success by putting yourself out there.

The same is obvious in sales. There is so much fear and anticipation before you send that prospecting email or make that cold call, so much in fact that it can stop you from doing it all together. I wrote a template last year where NetSuite had been ranked as having the most customers on the JMP Hot 100 list so my template read “NetSuite and JMP Hot 100 go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly” it was a terrible and silly idea that I thought would get the attention of the tech start-ups I was targeting. Well it didn’t get anyone’s attention except my manager at the time who gently suggested maybe we don’t compare our software to the children’s menu at Panera.

Another time I was desperate to get into a gaming company and couldn’t find any phone numbers but did find a fax number, so I faxed them everyday for a week a meme of the Philosoraptor with my phone number (the gaming company was called Raptr.)

My dad made his career in sales and told me once that he was trying to get into an account in the early 80’s and knew that the executive was an avid runner so my dad mailed him the left shoe of a very expensive pair of running shoes with a note saying he would get the right shoe if he agreed to a meeting. Corny, silly, very 80’s inspired I come from a line of fearless entrepreneurs, take a chance if it doesn’t pay off a least you have a fun story!

With my team today I say get as weird as you want, it’s not going to hurt anyone to try something new and the worst that can happen is your outreach is ignored, but maybe their interest will be piqued or their awareness of your product is raised. Nothing bad can happen from brave new ideas except nothing at all.

I suppose this is my take on the popular Wayne Gretzky quote “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

What are your examples of fearless prospecting techniques you have taken to get a prospect’s attention?

Kelli Lampkin

Kelli Lampkin is a writer, traveler, comedienne, and entrepreneur.

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