Sales is a profession rife with cliches.

One of the most popular is “sales is a numbers game” The dangerous part about this expression is how it gets used: “we don’t need to be smart [about our prospecting]…it’s just a numbers game”

This is where I disagree.  Sure prospecting is a numbers game but the “numbers” in question, how many meetings you get or how many sales you make, are strongly determined not only by the number of calls you make but also by the quality of what you have to say.

Executives all over the world are bombarded by sales people with badly crafted pitches. They absolutely don’t have time to respond to these badly thought out propositions.  If you want to get a meeting, or sell a product directly, you need to spend the time to come up with a truly strong value proposition.

You need to do your homework on the prospect’s company and the prospect themselves so you can hit one of their hot buttons with your voice mail (let’s be realistic here, we get voice mail 70% of the time or more)  For more on crafting quality voicemails see this previous post based on a great piece by Jill Konrath.

So I agree that “sales is a numbers game” but it’s up to you to decide if you want your numbers (a.k.a. chances of success) to be 1 in 10 or 1 in 1,000.


  1. It’s about quality AND numbers. The higher the quality the more the numbers fall into your favor.

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