Ask the “Kondo Question” to Declutter Your Follow Up Files

Following Up

Although I like to think I keep up on what’s going on (somewhat) with pop culture, the whole Kondo thing got miles by me before I caught on.

It was just a few weeks ago.

A Facebook friend posted pictures of her kitchen and said she “Kondoed” it.

I thought she meant that her apartment building might have gone condo. (Some people might have to look that one up.)

Anyway, I let it go.

Then began to see the term all over. I’m not the brightest bulb in the drawer (mixed metaphor, I know), but I finally figured it out.

I then checked it out, not wanting to stay in the dark.

(For those who don’t know, Marie Kondo is a fanatical “declutterist.” She has a book, and a very popular Netflix show. To simplify it, she has a radical philosophy about getting rid of things to tidy things up.)

Where am I going with this?

I’ve suggested the same thing with prospects in your database long before there was such a thing as Kondo-ing.

For example, a question I received through email asked,

“I’ve got a lot of prospects pending, but not a lot closing. What should I do?”

Like many questions I get, that’s extremely vague and requires a lot more information before I could give a specific detailed answer.

But it did get me thinking about a possible reason, and remedy.

It’s the perfect place to implement the sales version of Kondo-ing.

Let me set it up first.

What percent of the people in your follow-up file at this very second do you feel will ever do business with you?

Sixty percent?



You’re fairly typical if you answered 50% or less.

It’s not a good percentage, but typical.


Oh, there are several reasons.

Reps like to hang on to prospects, thinking that shred of interest might eventually turn into something.

They’re right: Disappointment, and a waste of time, usually.

Others stake their claim to prospects, tattooing their name on the prospect’s record in the “system,” just in case divine intervention comes into play and the person decides to call up and order on their own.

These reps then usually pounce upon the order and say, “It’s mine. See, has my name on it.”

Ask the Kondo Question

But, the main reason reps have too many “leads working” is that they don’t ask the tough questions early enough.

You need to find out if the person you’re talking to is really a “player.”

It’s always better to get a “no” early, than to waste time, effort, paper, and postage chasing shadows that never will materialize.

Here is what you need to do starting today.

Begin cleaning up your “non-prospect” prospects now.

Ask this Kondo Question:

“Mr./Ms. Prospect, we’ve been talking for awhile now, and have agreed that we’d be able to help you (fill in with how they would benefit.) I want to be sure I’m not bothering you, or wasting your time or mine. Tell me, what is the probability we’ll be able to work together in the next month?”

Think of the possible results here.

  • They say, “Zero probability.” Great, now at least you can find out the real problem, or move them out. Movement, forward or out, is progress.
  • They give some other probability. Good, but not great. You want to ask what you both need to do to move forward now. Get specifics. Commitments. Ask them to attach time frames to the commitments. Don’t allow them to continue putting you off. Again, movement here is success.
  • You just might get the business right now. Perfect. Sometimes all it takes is the nudge to get the boulder rolling down the mountain.

Do some database decluttering.

Examine your follow-up files.

Prepare your own strategy and ask the Kondo Question.

And maybe clean up your desk while you are at it 😉

(This article appeared in the January 2019 Smart Calling Report subscriber sales letter, where I give my newest, best material, and that from others that I seek out and find for you. It was just one of over 15 that subscribers received in that issue, and you can also get each new monthly issue delivered to your inbox. Not a subscriber yet? Start for just 50 cents today and also get immediate access to the current, and all back issues, going back 10 YEARS! Get the details and immediate access here.)

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