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Is Selling A Numbers Game?

Despite the numbers of articles, books and training programs that would tell you otherwise, there are still people who believe that selling is a numbers game. See more people, tell your story, pitch your product more often and you’re bound to succeed.

Consultants and sales managers alike want to see salespeople achieve a predetermined number of people every day. They want every prospect, every quote allocated with a probability percentage so they can make revenue predictions.

And in a wholly logical world that would be ok but we don’t live in a logical world. We live in an emotional world. I can put a fully sustainable logical argument to you and irrespective of how well it stacks up, if you don’t have an emotional engagement, you won’t necessarily buy in.

That’s the crux of it. We are emotional beings; we make decisions based on emotion and support them with logic. We let appearances influence us, we let colours influence us and we allow our prejudices to interfere.

There are people who won’t buy from you because you’re Asian, because you’re female, because you’re young or because you have a beard. These are things we can’t avoid and yet even though the prospect is never going to buy from you, a visit to them counts on your call reports and the quote they asked you to submit out of kindness is never going to get approved. Nevertheless we still have to give it a percentage and will no doubt be accountable for the outcome.

So here’s the first paradigm shift: Never pitch to anyone who isn’t in the market. That doesn’t mean you don’t talk to them – they may be a good referral source, it just means you don’t try to sell them.

That raises an immediate question – how do we know they’re in the market?

That’s covered in my next article… Who can I sell this to?


James Yuille is a 35 year plus sales and marketing veteran based in Brisbane Australia. He runs Mediaglue, a marketing services company. His book, “Are You Getting Enough?” is available at


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2 thoughts on “Is Selling A Numbers Game?

  1. Shea Johnson says:

    Looking forward to your next article.

  2. You have some interesting thoughts! Perhaps we should contemplate about attempting this myself.

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