What Are Your Missed Opportunities?

conversation over coffee

Earlier this week I spent the morning with a group of brand new, energetic business owners. In one of the exercises we did together, they each estimated the average annual worth of their average customer.

This is not an easy number to figure out when you’ve only been in business for a few months. One of the participants will be opening a coffee roaster so I provided some help by sharing, as an example, my own coffee budget.

Minimum, I go through three pounds of freshly roasted beans each month. If I pay $15 per pound, that’s $45 per month or $540 per year. Looking at this number on my calculator, I realized it represented an important lesson for all of us on how we can easily overlook opportunities and sources of revenue.

How does my coffee budget relate to overlooked revenue? And how might it help uncover missed opportunities?

This story starts back in 1997 when I moved from Toronto to Halifax. In Toronto, I’d already been purchasing freshly roasted coffee beans for several years from a small local roaster in Kensington Market. I was beyond delighted – and extremely relieved – when I found a local roaster in Halifax a few weeks after my arrival.

This past summer was my 23rd year as their customer. In addition to always having their coffee in my home, I have given it as gifts to friends and shared it with colleagues, helping it find a place in many cupboards.

But recently my life has changed. Like everyone else, I’ve lived through the lockdown and other restrictions caused by the pandemic. I’ve also had to alter several of my routines to accommodate being a caregiver. Much to my disappointment, it became inconvenient to get to my roaster, find parking, and purchase my coffee. (And my need for coffee has not, in any way, declined!)

In the spring, reluctantly, I began purchasing from another roaster. They reliably deliver my coffee each month, making my life a wee bit easier.

This past week,  when I looked at my coffee budget on my calculator,  it inspired me to ask myself some tough questions:

  1. Am I in regular contact with my most loyal clients?
  2. Am I staying in touch with changes in their businesses?
  3. When was the last time I reviewed my entire, 16-year, client list?
  4. How can I improve my contact with all of my clients?
  5. What new services might my clients need and when was the last time I asked them?
  6. What opportunities, and revenue, am I missing out on by not communicating more consistently with all of my clients?

And what about you? Do you have a loyal customer/client you haven’t heard from lately? Perhaps it’s time to inspire a conversation.



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.