After Having 762 Prospecting Calls, here are the 6 Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Are you an introvert trying to grow your business?

I once heard a statistic from business mogul, Daniel S. Pena (who sold is company in 1984 for $450M)

That 90% of millionaires are introverts.

I’m not sure if it’s true. It’s just Dan’s opinion.

But that is me.

I just like my alone time because it is when I am most productive.

Writing this article is just one example.

So after 6 or 7 years of pursuing my Dream to move from Ontario, Canada to southern California…

I had this “aha” moment.

I realized that if I was going to make any “real money” I was going to have to speak with people.

Up to this point I had been primarily selling online training, and trying to ‘hide’ from customers.

But I realized that in order to make really good money…

I was going to have to walk away from selling online training, and get out of my comfort zone and start talking with prospects and clients on the phone / Zoom / Skype.

I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing –

For two reasons:

A) I had been selling online training for 6 years or so, and even though it was gratifying, and I was good at it – I wanted to see my clients CHANGE.

I wanted to work with people who wanted long-term change and transformation (because let’s be honest, it takes time for people to change… It doesn’t happen overnight)

and secondly….

B) Speaking with people helped me understand my clients better, which helped me create better marketing.

So it was decided… “I’ve got to start talking with people”

The first 200 – 300 prospecting calls were rough.

I was sweating.

It felt awkward.

I wasn’t sure what to say…


I was worried I would say the wrong thing on the call and ruin the sale.

Turns out I had some weird ideas and beliefs about selling.

Almost everything I had read online about selling was untrue.

However, I did learn some important lessons along the way:

#1. Selling is completely counterintuitive.

What I mean by that is selling is less about directing someone to the sale, and more about helping prospects, and then letting them come to you.

You see what I was doing on my first 200 or so sales calls was what I would call traditional selling, and “forcing the sale”

What I realized is that prospects were coming to me for help, so I thought… “Maybe I should just help them.”

So that’s what I started doing…

And when we would get to the end of our conversation, it would be natural for me to say… “Did you want me to continue to help you?”

We would schedule a follow-up call, and go from there.

The theme of my calls became… “how can I help?”

And that was the new model I adopted for selling.

#2. Sales calls fuel your marketing ideas.

After around 762 prospects calls, and some sales, I realized I was pretty good on the phone.

I realized that the more I talked with prospects, the better I understood my clients dreams – and how I could help them.

This didn’t happen overnight. It was over a period of years… 3 years total to be exact…

And over time I started to realize that my clients talked to themselves a certain way.

They used language that nobody else on the entire planet would use.

And this language became the fuel for my marketing ideas, for social posts, for writing emails, etc.

I started to use my clients “self-talk” in the marketing, and the results from doing that were dramatic, conversions went up, and we raised our prices.

#3. Sales calls helped me understand what stops my clients from realizing their Dreams.

I originally thought that most prospects were coming to me for advice or ideas to help them grow their business.

But what I realized…. and this was pivotal for me…. was that many times a prospect was coming to me to overcome their internal challenges or their way of thinking.

So for example…

When I post socially….

I’ll go into the feed, answer comments from people who post, and see what is holding them back from fulfilling their Dreams.

This feedback is the most useful because it puts me into the “mindset” of the buyer so that I can find out what is stopping them.

Now that I know what is stopping them – for example… “I don’t want to post videos socially because my videos need to be professional”

I’ll post a new video that address this concern…

And if you’re someone who thinks a video needs to be professional before you can do any marketing…

I’ll just tell that … nowadays, people crave authenticity and transparency more than anything.

So if your video is “too overdone” and scripted, it can come off as inauthentic.

Best thing you can do is…. be yourself.

I also discovered that…

#4. Most prospects are not leads at all.

So when I decided… “I’ve got to start talking with people”

I thought the money would roll in right away.

As long as I’ve got calls and appts, I’ll be making money, right?


I work my butt off to promote my service over 12 months.

In fact, back when I started this, I was still selling a $2000 online training, and I had around 250 calls that 1st year.

But here was the problem…

60% of those calls (around 150) were with people who had NO MONEY!

like dead-broke, can’t even afford something for $300US

And I kept having these calls, expecting a different result at the end of the conversation….INSANE

so I got to the end of that year, over 250 calls and realized… not every lead is equal AND only speak with the leads that HAVE MONEY.

I finally found an easy way to capture and qualify leads that have money – and that became part of my process.

#5. Only hungry leads are REAL leads.

Now this is also counter-intuitive.

I spoke with this one prospect about getting help with more leads for his business.

As we start talking, I realize he already has someone working with him to generate leads…

they just aren’t making any money from those leads.

So when we look a little closer, we both realize that getting a new connection request or an email address from LinkedIn is not a lead.

Getting an appointment with someone who wants to, “pick your brain” is also not a lead.

It’s just someone who wants to waste your time.

So that’s when we started really looking at how to pre-qualify prospects so that you’re only speaking with potential buyers.

Real clients.

And that type of prospect is an entirely different game…

Because people who have urgency, and are hungry for change, are some of the best clients out there – because they implement and they take action.

So I went back to my process, and added this “filter” so that I could determine which prospects had high urgency and which did not.

And because of that, I had much better calls.

In fact, almost 90% of those calls turned into real paying clients.

Now lastly, I discovered that…

#6. You can’t really mess up a sales conversation.

What I mean by this, is that you don’t have to filter what you “say” on the call.

Just be yourself.

You’re not going to lose a deal by something you say…

You will lose a deal by what you don’t say.

Please re-read that.

So when you’re on a call, and you don’t find out what the real motivation is for a client to do business with you…

that is not good.

It means you “missed something”

For example, many times a prospect will say the reason they want to grow their business is because:

“I want to make more money.”


“I want to have more time.”

That might sound good, but it’s not why people buy from you.

It’s what the “time” and “money” does for them…

The extra time might give them the opportunity to watch their 9-year old son’s soccer game.

That extra time could give them more intimacy with their wife.

It’s the emotional aspects that drive the decision and the commitment.

And as far as money as a motivator…

The extra money could give them the first holiday they have had in 6 years.

The extra money could give them more ways to do philanthropy… that sort of thing.

So what I learned is…. what you don’t say is what kills the deal… not what you say.

what about you?

what have you learned from being in business that you want to share in the comments below?

Love to hear from you,


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