Kissing Frogs

The saying, developed from the fairy tale ‘The Frog Prince’, goes that –

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs” . . . before you find what (or who) you’re looking for.

Similarly, “It’s a numbers game” – you have to make a lot of calls, knock on a lot of doors, talk to a lot of people, send out lots of emails, place lots of ads – before you find buyers for your offer.

Well the thing is that it is, but then again it isn’t.

You see, you have to kiss the right kind of frogs.

Not just any old frogs

Not just every single frog that crosses your path (or comes within 3 feet of you as many old school sales trainers would put it).

You have to kiss the ‘right’ frogs.

But which are the right frogs?

How do you and I identify the correct people to approach with our offer?

The scattergun – talk to everyone, approach much beloved of some direct sales organisations just doesn’t work – it’s a waste of time, effort and money.

So, before we start kissing, you and I have to sort out our frogs. You and I first have to identify those frogs that are capable of turning into the princes and princesses we are looking for – our clients, customers, co-workers, partners, suppliers, employees – whatever and whoever it is that we’re trying to find.

And, I’m using the word ‘try’ here in what I call the ‘Edison’ sense – trying different ways of doing things, testing, checking out the frogs.

So how do you and I find the right frogs?

Well, we let the frogs do it.

When you and I want something – clients, customers and so on we create an ‘offer’ and market it.

And this isn’t just about business, it’s about ‘us’ as individuals as well.

We may be looking for a life partner for example, in which case we have to ‘market’ ourselves with an attractive ‘offer’.

We may be looking for more people to engage in an activity we love, so again we create and market an attractive offer.

But here’s the thing:

The offer must only be attractive to the right frogs, the right candidates for whatever it is.

The offer is where we describe what it is that we want.

Now that sounds sort of the ‘wrong way around’ when you and I first look at it.

We’re making the offer to the candidate to get something that they want, aren’t we? So what’s that got to do with what we want?

Well, you and I want that candidate (assuming that they turn out to be ‘right’) to come on board with us as a client, customer, partner or whatever.

We want them, so we offer them something in return.

(There’s no such thing as B2B or B2C – it’s all P2P)

And if our offer, our kiss, is ‘right’ then we’ll get to the frogs we want.

Those frogs who aren’t interested or to whom it doesn’t apply will hop away by themselves.

“They are not the frogs we are looking for”. (adapted from a line in Star Wars IV)

But frogs are sneaky creatures.

They sit there in front of you saying ‘try me, try me, show me what you’ve got’ when really they’ve no intention of engaging with either you or what you’re offering.

They just want to ‘know’, they’re just curious, they’re just collecting information – maybe.

Some people would call them ‘tyre kickers’.

(Will someone please tell Microsoft how to spell – in English!)

Don’t dismiss these frogs. They’ve been ‘kissed’ they know what the deal is, but they aren’t ready right now.

So instead of engaging with them, instead of them taking up our offer now, we give them something else.

We give them an opportunity to ‘come back later’.

We make a different offer.

That offer is ‘the next step’ – we show them what to do when they are ready – and what we want here is simply to open a conduit, to make a link, to connect with those reticent frogs.

You and I keep in contact with them and feed them other juicy offers from time to time which they might then want to take up.

Some people call this the ‘no for now’ list – but the frogs have to accept the offer to be on it.

So what about the ‘numbers game’?

First you and I reduce the numbers by making an offer that eliminates the non-candidates. When done well that reduces the numbers massively and only leaves the ‘qualified’ frogs.

Some of those will engage straight away, but then the numbers game becomes about offers and contacts

You and I contact the remaining qualified frogs at appropriate intervals with different offers, or the same offer presented differently.

And of course, we grow the ‘list’ of qualified frogs by making the original offer again to catch the frogs who missed it, and make new offers depending on what we want.

You and I don’t have to kiss all the frogs – just the right ones!

And in the ‘Fast Show’ tradition –

“This week, I shall be mainly kissing frogs”

How about you?