Sales Training Tip No. 3 - Recycling Opportunities

Sales Training Tip No. 3 - Recycling Opportunities

By Peter Heredia Managing Director

Peter has been involved with sales for over 2 decades, dealing with multiple industries and diverse sales team cultures. He knows how to get the best out of any sales team and has the experience and results to back it up.

Maxsales blog (3)In my series of Sales Training Tips, here is another very important aspect of Sales – Recycling opportunities. It is a term used to describe the process whereby any sales opportunity – either to an existing or potential customer, is kept alive by revisiting as appropriate with the objective of selling your product or service in the future.

There are many reasons why you may not be working right now on known opportunities, for example:

  • You have just lost a tender process.
  • The client may have asked that you come back another time.
  • Your proposal/approach was rejected.
  • You didn’t have quite what the client needed

Or, you may have opportunities within your client base that you are just not ready to approach yet.

Whatever the reason an opportunity is inactive today, they will form a prime source of good business in the future.


As soon as a potential or current customer rejects a product or service offer, it’s often all doom and gloom for the supplier. Lots of negative thoughts enter the sales person head and they are often convinced that there is no point in remaining in contact.  How very wrong they are!

Nobody can convince every customer, it’s a fact. Lots of your current customers may be convinced that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and may want to change. These things happen but how you handle these events could make the difference in how successful you are as a company in the future… If managed correctly these lost opportunities will provide up to 80% of your new business within the next 2 years.


  • If something goes wrong with their current supplier you will always be ‘front of mind’ to contact as a replacement
  • You are continually “building the relationship” and customers buy from people they know and like
  • You are keeping good records of all Qualified Opportunities that you will keep following up on, even if there is a change of sales personnel at you organisation
  • “Good Leads” are valuable
  • Within 2 years your effort on generating leads will reduce dramatically as your market intelligence sits in your Sales Pipeline Stage for Future Opportunities
  • You are creating a ‘very professional image’ within the eyes of your customers by your reliability

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Using this simple but effective process your customers are twice as likely to buy your product or service in the future, compared to opportunities that are ignored.


To reinforce why it is so important to always keep in touch with ALL identified opportunities, I asked 50 top buyers the following question:

“If you were using a supplier and you became unhappy with them. How much pain, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = little pain, 10 = unbearable pain) before you looked for an alternative supplier”

The answer was:

7 out of 10 on the pain scale – When the buyer had no contact from any supplier that could provide the service or product

2 or 3 out of 10 on the pain scale – When a sales person from the same industry, was regularly in touch and providing information and updates on their company, products and market developments.

Clearly, your chances of winning business from competitors if they aren’t performing increases dramatically if you keep in touch and provide easy, trustworthy access to an alternative.



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