It’s incredibly difficult to return to something you haven’t done in a long time. I recently started running again, which is hard to get back into. You don’t have the stamina, and your body hurts from the stress—especially your joints. Your form is poor, so you expend way too much energy for the speed you’re running. 

Then, at some point, you start to get a little bit faster, and you start to feel a whole lot better. About that time is when you realize you should never have stopped running in the first place.

This post is not about running, however. It’s about prospecting. Like running, once you stop prospecting, it’s incredibly difficult to get started again. When you finally find the will to pick up the phone and make your calls, it just doesn’t feel good. It’s been too long since you’ve done it, and your results are poor.

Sometimes your results are poor because you’re calling the wrong people. Other times it’s because you’re so out of practice. Improvement doesn’t come easily. It takes time, effort and energy to get your chops back. My advice to you? Make it easy on yourself and never stop prospecting.

When you have no work and desperately need new clients, you should spend your time prospecting. When you’ve gotten a lot of work and your pipeline is full, you should still spend some time prospecting. Anything that’s in your pipeline is not yet a deal, and you never know what the future holds.

Even when you have more work than you can possibly handle and your operations team is complaining that you are outstripping their capacity, you should still be prospecting.

Once the last breath of life has left your lips, for the next four days you should still be prospecting, just in case. Seriously—don’t lose your momentum, muscles or discipline. It’s more difficult to start over than it is to just keep going.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/.