Fewer Conversations = More Sales?

September 11, 2016
Mary Jane Copps


Old phone

“Opening is the new closing.” 

Anthony Iannarino

When this quote appeared on my computer screen last week … well, I wasn’t sure what to do first. I recognized the truth of these five words instantly and can’t deny that I fought back a wee bit of “I wish I’d said that” jealousy. But I was also filled with laugh-inducing excitement because this phrase illuminates one of the biggest shifts in sales today. If we can embrace it and act on its wisdom … we will absolutely increase our revenue.

Today, I dial more and speak with fewer prospects but … more of those prospects become clients! 

Why? Well until I read Anthony’s quote,  I passed it off as my almost 30 years of selling and the skills I’ve developed over that time. But at a gut level, I knew that wasn’t true. Instinctively I felt there was another reason my closing ratios – and those of many of my clients – were higher than expected and continually increasing.

The simple, beautiful fact is … when a prospect takes the time to speak with us or meet with us or view our demo, they are already open to the possibility of working with us.

This has not always been the case. In fact, it is a monumental shift in the sales process. For most of my sales career, I have spent a lot of time speaking with people who, out of politeness or curiosity or tradition, listened to me but  either did not want to buy anything or were years away from a buying decision. And while all of these conversations were enjoyable and helped me strengthen my communication skills, they took up time – both mine and the prospect’s.

Today, prospects do not give us that time unless there is at least an inkling of interest on their part. 

On a day-to-day level, this means you and your sales team must be more persistent. You need to dial more because, as I review in this post, everyone you are trying to reach is overwhelmed. But of those that speak with you, return your calls, respond to your email, well  … opening is the new closing!

With my utmost thanks to Anthony Iannarino of B2BSaleCoach.

Enjoy your phone work everyone!

What’s The Phone Lady Doing?  

September 12 – Today’s Necessary Phone Skills for Sales, O’Regan’s National Leasing, Halifax

September 13 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

September 14 – Telephone Talent, TD Wealth Financial Planning, Ontario (Tele-training session)

September 15 – Telephone Talent: Essential Skills for Reaching and Inspiring Conversations with Prospects & Clients, Estate Financial, Moncton, NB

September 15 – Telephone Talent, RBC, National (Tele-training session)

September 15 – Telephone Talent: Essential Skills for Reaching and Inspiring Conversations with Prospects & Clients, LSM Insurance, Markham, ON (Tele-training session)

September 16 – Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, Older Wiser Labourforce (OWL), Halifax, NS

September 19 – Today’s Necessary Phone Skills for Sales, O’Regan’s National Leasing, Halifax, NS

September 22 – Customer Service Excellence, Bayshore Home Health, Halifax, NS

September 26 – Kicking Off September Sales Week with ConnexionWorks (2 half-day workshops), Saint John, NB

September 28 – Telephone Talent, TD Wealth Financial Planning, Ontario (Tele-training session)

September 28 – Telephone Talent, RBC, National (Tele-training session)

October 4 to 7 –  NSBI Trade Mission to DreamForce Conference, San Francisco, CA

October 16 – Mastering Essential Phone Skills, TripCentral, Toronto, ON

October 18 – Telephone Talent: Essential Skills for Reaching and Inspiring Conversations with Prospects & Clients, TD Wealth Financial Planning (National Tele-training)

October 21 – Phone Skills for Job Search  & On The Job, Job Junction, Halifax, NS

October 25 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Kings Hants, Kentville, NS

October 29 – Let’s Talk: How to Inspire Conversation on the Phone, CAA, Dartmouth, NS

November 5 – Why Create a Business Blog?, BlogJam Atlantic, Halifax

November  16  – Telephone Talent: Phone Skills that Build Relationships and Support Growth, Newfoundland  Assn of CBDCs, Gander, NL

November 30 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

January 9 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, TD Bank Group, Toronto

May 3 – Improving Telephone Communication, Institute of Professional Management, Halifax, NS



  1. Steve Foran says:

    Interesting insight and very true. That’s motivating.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      It is motivating! It is a strong indicator that we do value conversation … perhaps more than we realized. I know you are making lots of calls these days, Steve. Anytime you want to create a guest post about your experiences … I know it would be appreciated.

  2. Jacqueline Steudler says:

    So true, but I also didn’t realize it until now. Thank you for the confirmation.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Funny how something can be obvious to us, but only when someone else puts it into words. Perhaps that’s why I love words so much. Thanks for your comments Jacqueline.

  3. Menna Riley says:

    Mary Jane! I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been listening to what my customers, colleagues and target clients are saying lately and it’s true- conversations are the new advertising! Dial it back, have one-on-one convos and take the time to develop genuine relationships. This is something I’ve always done and I’m sure you can agree, nothing beats a friendly smile and an open ear .

    Love your newsletter! Keep up the interesting and thought-provoking conversations 🙂

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks so much, Menna. I really love your phrase “conversations are the new advertising”. I think I’ll use it in a future post … with credit to you of course. Delighted to hear that you are experiencing this same trend in your business.

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