A Hockey Legend’s Inspiration

making a sales call

In our house, CBC Radio is on most of the time. Sometimes I listen intently, sometimes bits of information enter my consciousness while I’m focused on other things. This is what happened on November 28.

The Current was on and a panel was discussing the latest revelations about the off-rink world of hockey. I was multi-tasking as I listened  … until Sheldon Kennedy shared some amazing wisdom. His words are an easy-to-remember rule for all of us building businesses and working in sales.

What did Sheldon Kennedy say? And how does it apply to your work?

In the interview, Sheldon Kennedy spoke about the progress that has been made inside hockey culture over the past decade and then said …

“I don’t believe there’s a finish line when it comes to these issues.” 

I was gobsmacked. I work with so many entrepreneurs, startups and salespeople, sharing my slide decks, handouts and exercises, aiming to transfer this exact same message. Sheldon Kennedy summed it up in 13 words – when it comes to business development, there is no finish line.

We forget this so often. Existing clients give us SO MUCH WORK that we believe we don’t have the time to prospect, network and follow up. That’s not true. There’s always time. It’s our choices about how we use our time that create the problems.

We’ve all seen the unhappy endings. A thriving public relations agency that focused the majority of its energy and resources on one national client only to be blindsided when the marketplace changed and the client quickly and quietly cancelled all contracts. An award-winning software company that garnered tons of media attention for its contribution to the profits of a national franchise only to be diminished overnight when the franchise chose to hire in-house programmers.

Unless you’ve sold your business, or have made the decision to shut it down, always make connecting with potential new clients a priority.

And there’s an easy way to figure out how much time you need to devote to this vital activity – a very simple formula. When you crunch your numbers with brutal honesty you can figure out exactly what you need to do each day, week, month and year to keep your business thriving. (Here is a worksheet to help with the math.)

There is no finish line when it comes to sales and business development. If you’ve created one, now is the time to recognize that and make the necessary changes to build your revenue in 2020. Don’t delay.


Closing a sale is the natural outcome of inspiring great conversations and listening intently to our potential customers.

This natural approach still involves a process – a plan that moves potential customers through a journey of discovery with you. So ... what's your process? And am I the right sales coach for you? Let's find out.

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What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.