Since I'm a consultant and coach that does quite a bit of work with nonprofit organizations, I spend a decent amount of time thinking and writing about prospecting. I do so because I'm always looking for new clients - nonprofits and their leaders - to be of service to. I also talk to those new clients about prospecting; as fundraisers, they need to be diligent about introducing their good work to new volunteers, board members, donors and others that can be supportive of their missions.
One thing I've learned from working in these two professions is that in general, lots of people don't like prospecting. In fact, I've heard fundraisers say I'm great at sharing our mission and engaging donors - I just hate having to find them. And coaches say things like "I love and am great at coaching - I just wish the clients would knock on my door and say I'm ready."
Interestingly, this notion of people coming to you (as a fundraiser or coach) is similar to what a store owner experiences; they have a location, customers come in, look around and either buy or don't buy.
So, let's go with that....
You are a store (or business) owner. Your store is YOU! You are the main offering and you get to decide the different ways you package yourself. But the really cool thing is, you're not stuck in one location. You get to bring your store anywhere you want. You can truly offer your store anywhere to anyone and pretty much any time you want.
Here's the difference: You're only really open when you're out there bringing it. Of course, hopefully customers will come knocking at the door through referrals or due to other marketing activity. But if you really want to have a busy, active and prosperous store, you've got to be open for business.
The BIG question: Is your store truly open for business?