The Myth That Everyone Is A Potential Customer

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Truth vs Myths Bowling Ball Striking PinsOne of my trainers was running a Telesales Training Course the other week for a company, and a delegate said she was targeted with making at least 100 cold-calls a day. When the trainer asked what criteria the call list was governed by, she said it was simply a bought list from another company, listing details of companies in the area, with no indication of their industry or willingness to buy their products and services.

This company obviously assumed that everybody is a potential customer for their services, with no thought to how these businesses will utilise or even express an interest in the services.


It’s a dangerous, over-optimistic approach to assume everyone has a need for what you sell. Once you start thinking that everyone is a customer, you spend valuable resources pursuing opportunities that aren’t real. This plays itself out most commonly during the prospecting stage, where cold calling is seen as a way to fill the pipeline, rather than as a process of eliminating leads that aren’t likely to convert.

You end up with a sales team chasing deals that simply don’t materialise. Can you imagine the morale and motivation within that company? They simply go through the motions, hoping against hope that someone, somewhere, will offer them a lifeline and say ‘yes’ to an appointment. Throw enough “you know what” up against the wall and some is bound to stick, they think.

This process will only succeed in showing potential customers how desperate you are. If you make cold calls, make sure the homework has been done first on the potential client. Be aware of what their specific requirements would be before any contact is made. That way, you create potential customers rather than shooting blind to see if any exist.

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Happy Selling


Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling

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Originally published: 31 May, 2011