Think A Good Salesperson Is The Answer?

Many business owners think that in order to increase revenue they simply have to hire good salespeople. That thought process is actually the reason many businesses hire a salesperson but still don’t grow sales.

You want to grow sales so you assume that if you hire “experienced” salespeople they will know how to find more qualified opportunities and close more sales. Or, you hire someone with the “gift of gab” thinking that they are a born salesperson. And, because they have the desire to learn your industry, you assume that once they learn the industry, they will be able to sell.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “born salesperson.” People may be born with talent, but talent alone is not enough. Think about how many talented athletes have never made it to the Olympics.

Prospecting, finding opportunities and setting qualified appointments, is a specific skill set.

Selling and closing sales is another specific skill set.

Prospecting and selling are two completely different (although certainly related) skill sets. Think of it as the difference between asking someone for a date… And actually, going on the date. Prospecting is asking for the date. Selling is going on the date.

Many “experienced” salespeople don’t how to prospect.

Just because someone has experience, even if it’s in your industry, that does not mean that they will be able to sell for you.

Some numbers to know:

  • The average sales organization salesperson turnover rate is 34%
  • One in ten companies experience turnover rates above 55%
  • 89% leave due to deficient compensation, meaning they’re not making enough money which also means that you’re not making enough money
  • It costs upwards of $115k to replace a sales representative

You need to have a clear, consistent, replicable, benchmarked process for lead generation, appointment-setting and closing sales. It is only when you have a consistent, benchmarked, system that you know what works. Then, having this benchmarked system enables you to train your sales people, keep them accountable and make them successful.

The problem you need to solve before hiring a salesperson is: What is my consistent, replicable, benchmarked process for lead generation, appointment setting and closing sales?


The Relationship that Wasn’t

I have a business credit card from Bank of America. I never use it, but I’ve had it for years. We have no other banking relationship, just the credit card.

Earlier this week I got a call from an associate at Bank of America. I answered the call as I usually do, with my name, “This is Wendy Weiss.”

The associate then said, “May I speak with Wendy Weiss?” The conversation went downhill from there.

Wendy: This is Wendy Weiss. How may I help you?

Associate: This is __________ from Bank of America. Is this a good time to talk?

Wendy: I’m busy. What’s this about?

Associate: This is a relationship call.

Wendy: I wasn’t aware we had a relationship.

Associate: I’m calling from Bank of America.

Wendy: Is this about my credit card? Is there a problem?

Associate: There is no problem with your card. I’m calling to invite you to come into our branch and discuss your finances.

I declined.

I have to say I felt sorry for this associate. He was probably repeating this conversation over and over and over again. Someone at Bank of America had obviously told him that he was not cold calling but rather calling warm leads, “relationship calls.” They probably also told him that “relationship calls” would be easy and welcomed. I doubt they were.

Had this poor associate said anything of interest to me about my business the outcome might have been different. Financing or credit options or lines of credit or cash flow… Any of the myriad of things a bank might offer to help a business… We might have had a conversation and I might have gone into the bank to talk about it. Alas, he did not because he was relying on the label, “relationship call,” to do the work for him.

The lesson here is that there is no such thing as a “relationship call” unless your prospect thinks you have a relationship.

Are You Ready for 2020?

It’s now almost 2020. Almost a brand-new year. Are you ready for it?

You may have spent the last month or so planning and setting your goals for 2020. Or maybe you’re just getting around to it now. Unfortunately, so many people set goals that do not come to fruition.

In January every sales professional or business owner says to herself/himself, “I’m going to make this year my best year ever,” “I’m going to make more prospecting calls,” “I’m going to network more,” “I’m really going to build my pipeline this year,” “This year, I’m going to close more sales,” “This year, I’m going to hit my numbers out of the park…” and so on. And so few do.

Here is The Queen’s recipe for setting goals that you can accomplish. The secret is in setting yourself up to succeed and then following the Law of Action.

  1. Identify the goal and write it down. Be specific. It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to make more prospecting calls.” You need to identify the specific number of calls you’ll make. If your goal is to “network more,” define the word, “more.” Exactly how and how much?
  2. Identify the reasons you’ve picked this particular goal and write down those reasons. If you don’t have really strong motivation for accomplishing the goals you’ve set out, you likely will not accomplish them.
  3. Write down the exact date that you want to have accomplished your goal. This gives you something to work towards. Or set up bench marks for yourself with goals for particular dates that build on the goal before.
  4. Break your goal down into bite-size pieces or the bite-size steps that you’ll take to reach that goal. If the goal is too large it will overwhelm you, so break it down. Write down all of those smaller pieces or steps.
  5. Set yourself up to succeed. Ask yourself the following question: “Is my goal realistic?” Often people set totally unrealistic goals and then it’s no surprise that they are unable to accomplish those goals. Set yourself up to succeed by picking a goal that you can actually accomplish. Make it a bit of a stretch, but something that is a real possibility.
  6. Follow the Law of Action. Nothing happens until you take action. Take action consistently every single day toward your goal and you will be astonished by what you’ll be able to accomplish.

Happy holidays. Happy New Year.

Amazing Sales Lessons I Learned from My Cat

I love my cat. Her name is Ms. Kitty. She was named after Mr. Cat, who died many years ago, and after Amanda Blake of “Gunsmoke” fame (I realize I’m dating myself here).

Those of you who are cat lovers are nodding your heads and smiling. The rest of you probably think I’ve totally lost it. But before you tune out completely, let me share some of the amazing sales lessons that I have learned from Ms. Kitty and from all the cats in my life.

Be clear in knowing your goal.

Ms. Kitty always knows what she wants. Whether it’s more food or to be petted or not to be petted, she knows what she wants and when she wants it. She spends much time pondering her wants. All that time spent sleeping on the coach is not what it appears. She’s really planning her next move.

Ask for what you want.

Once Ms. Kitty has determined her goal, she asks for it. Clearly and concisely. “Meow.” She lets me know in no uncertain terms what she wants. And if I’m not clever enough to understand the first time, she is patient with me until I do.

Ask again.

If at first you don’t succeed… Ms. Kitty asks, and asks and asks. She won’t go away. She won’t stop saying, “Meow.” She wants what she wants when she wants it, and she lets nothing stand in her way.

Ask a lot of people.

Ms. Kitty has learned over time that I don’t always immediately accede to her demands. That’s okay. She just asks someone else. And then someone else. Eventually, some human being says “yes.”

Be persistent.

Ms. Kitty never judges herself. She doesn’t worry about being “too pushy” or “too aggressive.” She doesn’t worry that her prospect might be “too busy” or “already have a cat.” She believes in herself; she knows what she wants, and she keeps asking until she gets it.

Don’t take “no” for an answer.

Ms. Kitty is clever and creative. She keeps asking. She asks many people. She reworks her pitch and starts over. She does not hear “no.” She realizes that sometimes humans are slow and she just has to keep after us till we “get it.” It’s a process.

For you non–cat people, I will be back in my right mind for the next newsletter. I promise.


Just Follow The Script

Do you have a system that is proven to work? Do you follow it…?

There are many ways to generate leads for a business, SEO and email marketing and social media and content marketing and Facebook ads and on and on…

One of the things that distinguishes those who are successful at generating leads by any of the above methods and those who are not successful is that the really successful marketers test. They try out an approach on a small segment of their list, measure the results, perhaps tweak the approach and test again. They do this over and over and over again until they are sure that they have the best approach to generate leads. Once they are sure, they repeat the process over and over and over again for just one reason: They know it works.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for sales professionals and telephone prospecting.

I have been working with a coaching client who is the CEO of his company. He is a very busy man. We developed a prospecting process for his business including a list of pre-qualified leads and a complete set of scripts; appointment setting scripts, voicemails and email templates; to enable him to schedule qualified appointments.

My client then tested the system. He didn’t have a lot of time to make calls, but when he did, he consistently converted 40% – 50% of his conversations with decision-makers into qualified appointments. He proved the model and it was clear that the process and all of the scripts worked.

Then my client hired an appointment setter.

The appointment setter’s job was to follow the system that was already set up using all of the scripts that were already written and proven to work and to make appointments for my client, the CEO.

Unfortunately, once the appointment setter started, the number of appointments plummeted. Why? The appointment setter did not use the scripts that had already been proven to work. Instead, he was winging it on almost every call.

This is very puzzling to me. When you have a system that is proven to work, why would you ever do anything else?

And, what is more curious, every once in a while, this new appointment setter would use the script. When he did, he made an appointment.

The data was very clear: Use the script, make an appointment. Don’t use the script, don’t make an appointment.

Sales professionals could learn from successful marketers. Create the approach. Test it. Tweak it if necessary. Test it again. Once you have something that is proven to work… Keep using it.

Sell or Die

September is an interesting time. You may still be in vacation mode and/or believe that all of your customers and prospects are still in vacation mode. September, however, is officially here. And after September comes the fourth quarter sprint when for far too many business owners and sales professionals it’s time to…

As we head into the fourth quarter of 2019 are you on track to make your sales revenue goals for the year?

If you’re like many, the fourth quarter can mean it’s time to panic because the end of the year is fast approaching and the finish line is much too far away. Here are some recommendations to stop the panic and to start selling more to finish out the year exactly where you need and want to be. If you manage a team have your team go through the steps below.

1.) Calculate exactly where you are in terms of your 2019 sales revenue. You also need to go back and look at your initial 2019 revenue goal to see how close you are to achieving it.

2.) Next, take a look at what’s in the pipeline and likely to close in order to get you that much closer.

3.) Go back and take a look at deals from earlier in the year that have not closed. See if you can resurrect any of them.

4.) Make a list of existing customers that might need additional products or services. Make a plan to start reaching out.

5.) Make a list of everyone that you know or would like to know that should be buying from you. Make a plan to start reaching out.

6.) Make a list of everyone that you know or would like to know that might be able to refer business. Make a plan to start reaching out.

7.) Create your Wish List of Ideal Prospects that you believe might have a need of your offering. Make a plan to start reaching out.

When you do all of the above you will not only be much closer to achieving and/or exceeding your 2019 sales goals – you’ll also be setting yourself up for an even better 2020!

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or sales professional and you are sick of the stress and frustration of not knowing where your next client or sale will come from… If you are ready to make changes that will enable you to finish this year strong and set yourself up for an amazing 2020… Then I invite you to apply for the Master Sales Coaching program where you will coach directly with me to achieve and exceed your goals. There is no fee or commitment when you apply. We will simply have a conversation to see if the program is a fit for you.

Do You Know Your Numbers?

Are you a business owner or sales professional worried about where your next sale is going to come from? Do you wish that you had more control over filling your pipeline? The answer always lies in the numbers…

Last week we finished the last session of the Prospecting Mastery live, skills training and coaching program. In this last session, the majority of the participants said for the first time in their sales career, they feel that they have control of their sales process. They know exactly what they need to do to keep their calendars and pipelines full of the best opportunities. They also know how to control conversations with their prospects. That is a powerful feeling!

Part of that feeling of control comes from knowing the numbers.

Here is an email that I received from a client that had someone enrolled in the Prospecting Mastery program:

As a sales manager, the number #1 challenge is for sales people to know their numbers.

A sales person must know their:

    • Ratio of Dials to Conversations with Prospects
    • Ratio of Conversations to Appointments Scheduled
    • Ratio of Appointments to Proposals
    • Ratio of Proposals to Sales

When you know your numbers, you can calculate your Revenue Per Dial.


When you know your numbers, you can also:

    • Improve your ratios
    • Determine how much you wish to make and what it takes to make it
    • Take charge of you career


A sales manager can plan their sales goals if they know their numbers:

    • Know how many sales people will be needed to achieve their sales goals
    • Know at an early stage when a sales person is not going to succeed
    • Know who needs coaching and in what area
    • Improve the sales team’s ratios


This seems obvious, yet so many sales people and sales managers have no idea of their numbers.  This is the #1 challenge.

I am indebted to my client, Keith Oliver, Principal, Oliver Insurance,, for the outline above. He is 100% correct. When you know your numbers, everything changes.

If you are a business owner and/or sales manager and would like to have a serious conversation about knowing and improving your numbers, click here.

More Appointments Does Not Equal More Sales

Do you find that it is difficult to schedule appointments with prospects?

Do you find that although you are scheduling appointments, not many of those appointments stick?

Do you find that while you are scheduling appointments, not very many of those appointments turn into sales?

If you answered, “yes” to any of the questions above, the solution is most likely in how you are prospecting.

I started to think about this last week after a conversation with client who owns an independent insurance agency. My client told me that his new salesperson was getting a lot of appointments, he just wasn’t closing any sales. My client thought that his new salesperson needed help with his closing skills.

Upon diving more deeply into the conversation with my client, it turned out that the new salesperson also worked part-time, at night, as a bartender. He met a lot of people at his nighttime job and he set a lot of appointments with the people that he met. Unfortunately, many of those appointments did not stick and almost none of them turned into sales. (And yes, this is a true story.)

My client thought, as many do, that more appointments should equal more sales.

The real issue was, however, that while the new salesperson was making a lot of appointments, most of them were completely inappropriate. The people he had made appointments with were just not good prospects.

This new salesperson does not actually have a problem with closing. He has a problem with prospecting. He is not likely to close a lot of sales, because he is making appointments with folks that are unlikely to need, want or say yes to his offering.

Effective appointment-setting always starts by identifying the target. The answer to “what makes a good lead?” is not, “Everyone.” Step one is to identify the parameters that define the “best fit” type prospect for you in your market with your offering.

According to research done by, and outlined in their report, The Power of Prioritization, “Higher-rated prospects convert 2.6x better than lower-rated prospects.” In other words, “best fit” leads convert almost 3 times better than leads that are not “best fit.”.

When the lead you are reaching out to is well targeted and a “best fit” you are much more likely to 1.) Schedule an appointment and then, 2.) Close a sale.

More appointments do not necessarily equal more sales. Better prospecting, however, will lead to more qualified appointments which will then lead to more closed sales.


© 2019, Wendy Weiss

Caller Beware!

From time to time readers of this newsletter or visitors to the web site will email scripts to me to ask for my comments. Here is a script I recently received. Beware. Do not let this happen to you:

Script: Hello (Prospect’s Name) this is (Name) with (Company Name). Did I catch you at a bad time?

Wendy’s Comment: Everyone is incredibly busy these days. The most likely response to this question is, “Yes.” Why set yourself up for failure in your first breath?

Script: Once again, my name is (Name) with (Company Name). The purpose of my call is to simply schedule a brief 10-15 minute phone conversation early/late next week. Can we carve out a few minutes next (Tuesday at 1:30 pm) or (Thursday at 1:30 pm)?

Wendy’s Comment: This is all about what the caller wants. The caller wants to schedule an appointment. He doesn’t even say what it’s about and yet expects the prospect to jump up and down with excitement and say, “Yes!”

Script: The agenda of our appointment is to introduce myself and (Company Name) …and the work we’re currently doing). And learn a little bit more about your (Company/Department) I only need 10-15 minutes. Can we carve out a few minutes (Day) or (Day)?

Wendy’s Comment: This caller has yet to say why the prospect should be interested in speaking with him, interested in the company or interested in the work they’re doing. In addition, prospects today have no interest in wasting their time teaching sales people about their company. They expect sales people to have done their homework, something this caller clearly has not done.

This caller was struggling and it’s not surprising. He was missing out on the very first rule of prospecting. He needs to answer the question: Why should your prospect be interested?

This script is all about the caller, what he wants and what he expects from the prospect. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work these days. These days it’s all about the prospect. Forget that at your peril.


© 2019, Wendy Weiss

Lessons from “The Guru”

By Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling™

I recently had a conversation with a very well-known Internet Marketing Guru… Hereafter referred to as “The Guru.” A colleague, who I respect, had recommended that I meet him. She told me that “The Guru” was producing a big event this fall and she thought I might be interested in attending. She said she’d be there and so would a lot of other people that I know.

I’d known of “The Guru” but was not really familiar with his work. I knew he was supposed to be a master of the “art of enrolling clients.” The event sounded somewhat interesting, I’m always on the lookout for additional resources to offer clients (and the “art of enrolling clients” could certainly be useful to many of my clients), I’m always looking for marketing partners… And let’s face it, I did want to see the “art of enrolling clients” in action…. My colleague thus facilitated an introduction via email.

After that email introduction, “The Guru’s” assistant contacted me to schedule a phone date for me to speak directly with “The Guru” himself. Woo hoo!

On the appointed day, at the appointed time “The Guru” called. I’d spent the previous hour reading about “The Guru” online. I looked at his website, his LinkedIn profile, Facebook, twitter… All the usual places. Google makes it easy. At the appointed time I was sitting by the phone. I was ready.

“The Guru” called. We chatted for a few minutes. In those few minutes it became very clear that “The Guru” had no idea who I was. He knew why he was calling… He just didn’t know who I was. Now, I am not saying this from an ego point of view that he should have known “The Queen of Cold Calling.” What I’m saying, is that he should have taken at least 5 minutes before he called and googled me. Clearly he did not. Not only that, he didn’t even know who had referred me. He did, however, know that he was calling to get me into his event and how much the event cost. Interesting “enrolling” approach.

25 years ago we didn’t have Google, or LinkedIn or Facebook or any of the resources that are available today to gather information. You would have your target’s company name, phone number, mailing address and that was pretty much it. If you were lucky, you might have a contact name at your target company.

25 years ago, however, prospects did not actually expect you to know much about them or their company. They were willing to answer a lot of questions… not today. Prospects today do expect that you’ve done a modicum of homework on them before you pick up the phone to engage. If you do not, they tend to react poorly… as I did… (and no, I won’t be attending the event).

So, dear reader, please take to heart this lesson learned from “The Guru” himself: if your goal is to engage and then “enroll” clients, first do your homework.


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