This is a question I always ask in our Sales Training Workshops in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.  Do you find that your motivation to pick up the phone or stop by to see a client is largely motivated by the prospect of making a new sale?  Don’t get me wrong.  This is a trait of some of the top-performing Salespeople in any industry.  However, have you considered the message you’re sending your clients?

I’ve Been Guilty Of Dialing For Dollars

I have suffered from this problem since the start of my selling career.  The #1 motivator for me to be proactive with a buyer is the prospect of making another sale.  To me, nothing is more intoxicating than getting a buyer to purchase or renew a sale with me.  There are 2 things that drive that feeling.

The prospect of making money. There – I said it and I won’t apologize for it.  Top-performing Salespeople like to make money and lots of it.  They want the lifestyle that goes with it.  They want to provide for their families, save for their kid’s education, go on great vacations, drive nice cars and have the financial security to one day tell their Sales Manager how it’s going to be.  By the way, smart Sales Managers understand that because they probably like and want the same stuff – including the boss part.

The vote of confidence. The feeling of being successful at convincing a client to purchase because they believe in you and your product is a huge ego-rush.  They picked you over your competitors.  It can be easily argued that this is just as important as the money.  Everyone wants to feel appreciated and valued.

Let’s Ensure We’re On The Same Page

Don’t confuse the two points above.  The best way to experience these benefits is by focusing on your client, not your needs and not even your company’s best interests.  I have often said that great companies and Sales Managers (secretly) appreciate Salespeople that have those priorities in the right order.

No clients = no sales = no job. 

You can always represent your company’s best interests by selling more products and services to more buyers.

The Impression Left With Clients

Dialing for dollars can easily give decision makers the impression that your relationship with them is only based on making sales.  Calling existing clients to deliver on commitments and exceed expectations is part of the job.  If you don’t do those things, you won’t get a sale or renewal.

What I’m specifically talking about is calling on buyers who aren’t using your services currently.  For whatever reason, they’ve stopped.  Perhaps, it was no longer required because your product or service wasn’t needed anymore.  Maybe you solved their initial problem or their business focused changed.  Perhaps they went with the lower cost provider because of budget constraints.  Head office in another city decided to consolidate purchasing.  There are lots of reasons for not being a current supplier.

Ask Yourself These Questions

What are you doing about it?

Are you making calls by phone or stopping by face to face to keep the relationship going?

Are you sending a personalized, hand-written card to past buyers to remain in touch?

Are you dropping off a 20 pack of Timbits for the office staff of the buyer with a note?  Sorry, I’m Canadian.  We buy Timbits and apologize a lot.

What are you doing to keep the relationship alive – even when there is no current prospect of a sale?

Are you tracking your efforts to ensure that it doesn’t take years to realize how much time has passed since the last contact?

Do you want a customer for life?

Please Don’t Ask Yourself These Questions

Why would I do that if they aren’t interested in buying currently?

What could I hope to gain by this?

When do I have the time to do this while I’m focused on current buyers and new prospects?

Why This Makes Sense

  • To preserve the relationship and possibly get future referrals.  Salespeople who constantly dial for dollars feed a negative sales stigma.  Do you want to be that Salesperson?
  • To make their day and yours. Your unexpected call is appreciated.  Don’t ruin it with any mention of new products, services, opportunities or hidden agendas to get them back.
  • Because at one time, your client believed in you. Your sincerity in making the call to a past client reaffirms why they previously picked you and your product.

It’s easy for top-producing Salespeople to become so busy with their focus in driving future sales that we forget to stay in touch with past buyers who previously said YES.  Make a list of them and pick up the phone.  Attempt to sell them nothing.  Ask them how they’re doing and what’s happening in their world.  It will be an eye-opening experience that will make you want to do it more often.

What do you think?  I’d love to hear your opinions below.  Dialing for dollars and practical sales training is a focus of our book  SHUT UP!  Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Amazon. If you prefer online sales training, check out the free trial of our course The Sales Skills Incubator.



Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY