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Find the prospecting fountain of youth

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A young man wrote an article recently with advice that fits well here today: “Many people forget that the simple statement, ‘I’d love to learn from you,’ opens more doors than anything you can imagine. It’s the ultimate statement of humility, respect, understanding and curiosity.”

So says Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, a mobile app rewards network that enables brands and companies to provide consumers with tangible rewards for virtual achievements. The name of his article is “The folly of age as a number: How we can all be young.”

A recent inquiry from a 63-year-old agent reminded me of how many agents fall prey to declining success. He asked how he might increase his prospects. I gave him several ideas, all of which were greeted by, “Yeah, but…”

He kept finding reasons why each idea would not work. His greatest problem was that each idea required work, more effort than he was willing to perform. Age and experience can be good and, also, bad. He also had analysis paralysis. When I explained that everything has flaws, even prospecting methods, he seemed to still be looking for a flawless method.

Because you are reading this article, it’s obvious that the world did not end on Dec. 21, 2012. There’s plenty of life left, but not for those who have stopped learning. The youth have some advantages over us old geezers. (I’m 61.) Their minds are not closed to new ideas. They are not finding reasons why something won’t work. They are finding the reasons they will and are overcoming the obstacles.

They have boundless energy. Obviously, much of the energy of youth is misdirected, but we “older and wiser” folks should use that age and wisdom with the whole bunch of enthusiastic and boundless energy.

Energize your practice. Do whatever it takes to get up and go, today and every day. Re-create that youthful enthusiasm that you see so much of but dismiss as juvenile and shortsighted. Look for someone to learn from and learn. Apply those lessons with energy, enthusiasm and wonder.

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My Bible, in Ecclesiastes 9:10, says, “Whosoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Great advice. We all have a few short years to get something done. Now is the time.

So, what does any of this have to do with prospecting? There is no greater element to a successful practice than finding a new client. It takes energy, commitment, enthusiasm, perseverance, research and innovation to build a successful practice. All of these are youthful characteristics. Add that to your experience and knowledge. You can’t fail.

For more from Kim Magdalein, see:

A new president?

Whack-a-Mole prospecting

Camelot crumbles