Don’t get hit by friendly fire.

For many salespeople, prospecting is hard! Some struggle every day to make prospecting happen and unfortunately get hit by far too much friendly fire. 

It’s time to be blunt, I’m on a mission to stop the damaging friendly fire too many salespeople fall victim to.

For those of you who do not understand the term “friendly fire” let me explain. This is where you’re in battle and for one reason or another you’re dealing with an incoming attack that is not from the enemy, but is misguided from your own side. Friendly fire in most cases is preventable, but it takes planning and communication to keep it from occurring. 

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.

Similarly in sales, too much prospecting activity serves only to do more harm to the salesperson doing it than good to the prospect it’s directed towards.

When we fail to plan, we shouldn’t complain when our plans fail.  This applies especially to prospecting.  

In the video above from my prospecting program, I detail some of the worst things salespeople do and more importantly how to prevent each one.

Successful prospecting requires a series of steps to occur in proper sequence and for each step to support the next one. One bad step won’t sabotage your potential success, but it certainly isn’t going to help.  Multiple bad steps and you can call it a day—you’ve inflicted friendly fire upon yourself.

via CBC on GIPHY

Mistake #1: Word Vomit

It starts with the email, and the desire to include everything ever known to mankind in the email. Stop! Your prospecting email must follow the “one-swipe” rule.  This means the entire email you’re sending a prospect should be readable on a smartphone with only one additional swipe

It’s short; this is not the time to include the wonderful accolades and awards you and your company have received.  The focus is on the prospect and what’s of importance to them today!   Including anything else is setting yourself up for friendly fire.

Take Mark’s Email Prospecting Masterclass or Phone Prospecting Masterclass for many more tips and strategies. 


Mistake #2: TL; DR

This is not the time to leave lengthy messages. If you can’t say what you want, including a call to action in less than sixteen seconds, then don’t leave a message!  I’m not advocating for not leaving a message, but rather for having your act together so you can leave a short message.  

There are two big reasons why your message needs to be short.  First, keeping it short is showing respect for the other person’s time. Do you think anyone wants to converse with someone who is long-winded?  No! Your voicemail is not only communicating a message, but it’s also communicating you and your style. 

Keeping it short also works to your advantage if the prospect’s voicemail system is set up to convert the audio to a text message. 

Go ahead and visualize how long of a text message you’d be leaving if your voicemail was 30-seconds long?  Are you smelling friendly fire?  I sure am!

Mistake #3: A Broken Record

Repeating the same message multiple times, or worse yet, reaching out and not having anything of value to communicate, are fatal. In fact, I would say both of these are so bad that if you’re doing this—save your time and don’t do anything at all.  

Each message MUST be different

Now this doesn’t preclude you from rewording something you’ve already sent. Go for it, reword it, but don’t think you can take one message and reword it five times. Do it once or twice at the most, but then you must change your topic. 

If you can’t come up with at least five to ten different topics to lead with, then you haven’t taken enough time to understand the outcomes you create and how prospects would benefit from them.

via The Animal Crackers Movie on GIPHY


Mistake #4: I’m Not a Hotel

The “just checking in” line, whether it be in an email, phone call, voicemail or text—it’s just stupid!  The only time the line “just checking in” works is if you’re at the front desk of a hotel or an airline counter. Use it and you’ll face friendly fire. 

via The Sales Hunter on GIPHY

This all comes back to the need to have different messages you can communicate.  You create value by delivering value.

There’s zero reason for you to face friendly-fire.  I want to help you and that’s why I want you to grab my e-book on prospecting. Download it for free at this link

Another step you can take is to get any of the prospecting courses I offer in The Sales Hunter University.

Leads not responding to your messages?
Phone and voicemail just not working?
Prospects going dark on you at the worst time?

You need to be at Sales Logic Live, May 24th in Dallas or online!

Learn from experts Mark and Meridith’s Sales Logic System and leave with tools to achieve greater success in sales. 

Register now to save your spot!

Personality v.s. Sales Process


How does personality matter in prospecting?


Learn all about it in this week’s solo episode of The Sales Hunter Podcast. 

My customer said NO…now what?

You won’t want to miss Thursday’s episode with Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz, authors of Go for the No.


Hear strategies for opening the sale, handling objections and more. 


Click here to subscribe on your favorite podcast app.



Copyright 2023, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.





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