By David Holland

July 6, 2016


How (Not to) Sell from a Cake-Maker, a Tailor and a Teacher

How my recent experiences with a tailor and teacher taught me how not to implement a sales process – read on to learn how not to close a sale…

Now, I am going to start by re-iterating a story told by Nigel Botterill back in December 2014 about how he tried to buy a cake.

For those of you un-initiated, I’ll tell you Nigel’s story and how this links into my post this week.

There’s a company called Choccywoccydoodah (now there’s a mouthful (pun intended)) based in London and Brighton, master cake-makers who make some amazing cakes (have a look at their fantastic cakes on their website, which makes you want to buy a cake for no occasion whatsoever!). Anyway, Nigel went down to have a look and made an appointment for a birthday cake. They did a fantastic job of presenting cakes and Nigel “could not have been a hotter prospect” coming out of the appointment.

Sound’s like they did a good job, right?

well, in a word… no

The simple question was; what comes afterwards? In Nigel’s case, nothing. No follow-up call, no direct mail/email, nothing. one simple phone call, or simply sending an email and Nigel would have had his cake (and eaten it!), and Choccywoccydoodah would have had a sale.

When I heard this I could not believe a company would do such an amazing job but then fall at the final – arguably easiest – hurdle.

Now the reason I bring this up is because recently I ran into a similar experience…


The first time was after moving house last month. I enquired to a few language teachers so I could continue learning in my new area, of the dozen or so who I enquired to only 1 got back with an email of times and dates for a starter session (which is not what I asked for). After that, absolutely nothing. No follow-up, no call to check-in, just that one solitary email from a fairly reputable teacher. Now if I had received an email, or a phone call, she would have had a new student. Again, fallen at the last hurdle.

More recently, after watching Kingsman: The Secret Service in the cinema (and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a blast and I highly recommend it) I fancied myself a new suit (and if you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand why most people get that feeling after watching it) so made a call to a tailor in Savile Row who explained the process, how the tailor would come to me, measure and size, style and after 9 weeks and several additional meetings I’d have a brand new, bespoke suit for around £3,000.

“Sounds great, I’ll have to have a little think and OK it with the other half, but I’m happy with that” was my response. A week ago. Again, no follow-up. A simple phone call to me a couple of days later could have won £3k worth of business. not bad for a phone call right?

Now you’re probably wondering what my point is, but how many prospects in your business have fallen through the cracks like this?

How much more business could you get by simply employing a strategy (and the tools) to follow up with every opportunity? Would this not be valuable?

Put simply, there’s an inordinate amount of businesses out there that leave so much money on the table by not simply employing a strategy and investing in the tools that enable them to follow up with every prospect that comes into their business. If you want to grow your business you need to think about what happens if your prospects answer isn’t yes right then and there.

Most businesses dismiss these leads or don’t have the resources to get in touch with these leads, or perhaps most sinfully assume that they will come back to you. You can’t be that kind of business if you want to grow and achieve super success.

Have a think about your strategy for selling, and what more you can do to keep in touch and follow-up with those people who aren’t quite ready to buy today, and a lot of them will become tomorrow’s best customer.

If you want to get in touch about this, fire me a line via email ( and we can have a chat, see if we can help alleviate situations like this

If you want to find out first-hand how we can help you, click here to book a demo with me! There’s no obligation to buy into anything, merely to take the time to see if we and Infusionsoft are right for you.

About the author

Nice bloke with practical ideas. Former Procter & Gamble, Kraft and IBM sales and marketing executive. Became a business owner 20 years ago. Started multiple businesses including EXELA which is the most successful Keap® & Infusionsoft™ reseller in the EMEA region.

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