Most folks are often looking for short cuts to success. Quick fixes to “fame” and “fortune.” If they exist, please let me know.
Which is why, I always stress to others, prolonged, consistent success — requires discipline, focus, persistence, hard work and a process, methodology or system.
And what happens if you skip a step in the system? Let me answer this question, with a story.

As a second-year law student, I began going to law school at night. My days were devoted to selling air time for a radio-brokerage company. The owner of the company shared with me his “alleged” three-step winning philosophy and strategy for successful business development:

Step 1

Make a telephone call to get the appointment.

Step 2

Write-up a contract that included: the stations, the air time, the length of the spots and even the budget, before ever meeting the potential client and determining any of their needs, goals or objectives.

Step 3

Show up at the appointment and leave with a signed contract.

Now, as you can obviously tell, there was no priority placed upon developing rapport, building a relationship and assessing how I could help a decision-maker — solve a problem, fill a need or realize a dream or a goal.
I literally walked into a prospect’s office with a completed contract. It only required a signature.
Their opinion, feelings, attitudes and problems were unimportant. Everything had already been predetermined — by me!
The owner taught me, there was really no need to probe or ask questions, because the meeting should be focused on my presentation and especially on the close, the signature and the initial payment. Not on the prospect.
He also fancied himself as a great motivational master. His pep talks went something like this:

  • “Close early and close often!”
  • “You’ll never smell the rose, if you can’t get the close.”
  • “The buyer is your enemy!”
  • “Get their damn signature, then get the hell out of there.”
  • “You represent my interests, not theirs!”

Did I bring in some contracts? Sure, but not often. At that time, I really didn’t understand the psychology, the process or the system involved in business development. Using the owner’s quick-hit attack strategy, my successes were rare. And as a result, my attitude, desire and self-esteem suffered.
It was only after leaving that job, I realized the major reason for my poor results was that I spent no time developing rapport, building relationships and discovering needs.
I immediately revealed or demonstrated that I had no ability to develop relationship power. Therefore, trust was low and fear was high!
Thankfully, I learned this valuable lesson early in my business life. Please, don’t make the same mistake I did.
Never guess or assume you know what your prospect’s needs are. Let him or her tell you. And if your Q&A or probe reveals, there’s no need to reveal, then don’t reveal!
In other words, if he or she has no problem to solve, need to fill or dream or goal to realize—there’s no need to even waste your time. For you’ve determined, this prospect is merely, a suspect!

More: Peak Your Profits: Lunch and learn

More: Peak Your Profits: The eyes and ears have it!

The preceding is an excerpt from the new 5th edition of Jeff’s bestselling book, “Peak Your Profits.” It’s now available on Amazon and at your favorite bookstore.

Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a "business-growth specialist." If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or And visit to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff's free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff's books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the new 5th edition, of the bestselling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.

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