New Prospects I stayed up too late last Saturday night watching the Mayweather – Pacquioa fight. As a long time fight fan and someone who has watched both these fighters since the start of their careers, I believed Mayweather would win on the judges cards, and I knew it would be a boring fight. I was right on both counts. So now, my breakfast smoothie and coffee while I recover from being up past 10:30 PM.

As luck would have it, I received two back-to-back calls from salespeople last Thursday, literally one right after the other.

The first salesperson to call me has obviously been trained by a well-known sales trainer because I immediately recognized the script. He said, “Can I have 30 seconds of your time?” I agreed, by saying, “Pitch me, bro!” He said, “What?” I said, “Pitch me!” The salesperson said, “I can help you grow your speaking business and sell more from the stage.” He stammered for a second or two, then said, “What are the two biggest challenges you face in your business?” I said, “Having more work than I can easily do alone and saying yes to some of the things I should say no to.” These answers didn’t help him, so he said, “Would you like to speak more and sell more from the stage?” To which I answered, “No. I will speak 40 times this year, and I don’t sell anything from the stage other than new beliefs and new actions.”

Then I asked a question to which I already knew the answer: “Did you research me before you made this call? Did you look at my website or LinkedIn or anything?” He said, “No. I did not.”

As it turns out, I am on the National Speakers Association’s membership list, and this company bought the list. In this company’s view, everyone on that list is a potential prospect for their service. This is wrong.

Let’s take a quick look at two learning outcomes here.


Not everyone is a target for what you sell. Read that line again.

Some people don’t need what you sell.  Some people don’t care about what you sell. Some people don’t value what you sell. Spending time calling on people who don’t want, need, or value what you sell is a waste of time.

Your time is limited. You need to spend it doing things that produce the results you want, and you need to spend it with people you can help. But sometimes you don’t know that until you make a call.


This company has chosen an approach that suggests that they believe everyone on this list is a target. All they care about is getting an appointment with speakers to walk people through their offering and pitch them. So, they make a very transactional call, having done no research on who they are calling.

So what would have been a better approach? This:

“Hey Anthony, I am on your website right now. We help speakers like you increase the number of gigs they book and help them sell more from the stage. I don’t know if what we do would help you or not, but I’d like to ask you for 20 minutes of your time to learn a little about your goals, show you what we do, and see if there is anything we might do together. If there isn’t, we’ll both have explored it together, and if not, you may know someone else who needs our help.”

That is a pitch I would have said yes to, even though I would have still suspected it wasn’t going to be the right fit for me. That would have been a much more consultative approach, and it would have been a better ask. Honestly, it’s what the salesperson really wanted.

Are you spending your time with the right targets? Is your approach effective in gaining the commitments you need from your dream clients?

If you know someone who needs some help thinking through these ideas, hit forward and send them this newsletter.

Oh, and one more thing.

On May 7th, I am participating in InsideSales‘s Sales Acceleration Summit. My 14-minute segment is on the 10 Commitments you need to ask for in B2B sales (you need some of these for B2C sales, too). I am going to walk you through each of the commitments, and I am going to share a little bit of the language you need to gain them. Join me there by clicking this link .


Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at and you can subscribe to his newsletter at