Last week in one of my mastermind groups, I presented a question to my cohort;

“How did your parents raise you that impacted you to become who you are today?”

This became a very powerful discussion of sharing the strengths, traits and values our parents instilled, and how they raised the bar for all of us to become even better business leaders (and humans!).


My Dad, George, recently passed away in his 81st year and it has prompted myself, along with my 3 younger brothers to reflect on how he raised us and his unique impact that has shaped who we are – personally & professionally.


Our Dad was a one-of-kind man, farmer, brother, baseball pitcher, husband, card player, Dad and grandfather.  Fast-talking & fast-moving. He had an impact on everyone he interacted with, evident by the number of people who chose to attend Dad’s reception to honour him.  We didn’t call it a “Celebration of Life” – as that’s not what our Dad would have called it…”Reception” seemed fitting.  We were blown away by the number of relatives who drove hours to come, along with people who worked on our Dad’s farm all those years ago – each bringing stories, memories & laughter to the day. We know Dad was smiling down on us, though perhaps a bit disappointed that he missed out on such a great gathering of some of his favourite people & that it took his death to bring everyone together again.


Our Dad was born on May 25th – the height of tobacco planting season.  Maybe it was the hustle and bustle around the time of his birth that engrained itself into his nature, but he never shook that “go-go-go”. He was the first of six sons born into a hard-working tobacco farming family who immigrated from Belgium. He was a meticulous planner and a true farmer who wanted sons of his own for the farm. As the saying goes, “you get what you get” & despite his hopes for a boy, I was the 1st born child and grandchild. Even though my Grandma was excited to have a granddaughter after raising her 6 sons, my Dad was disappointed. He didn’t have to wallow long however, as our family eventually grew with the additions of my 3 younger brothers. It was a lively household and farm, with 4 very active kids. Mom & Dad were certainly good at channeling our energy into hard work – turning free hands into free labour.


Growing up, I was determined that I could do anything my brothers could do on the farm. As a young girl who wanted her Dad’s approval, I worked overtime to be seen as a strong, contributing female, learning how to navigate a “man’s world”. I grew into feisty (tad sneaky) teenager, and eventually, a woman who was well prepared to head into the male-dominated business world, leading meetings and trainings with predominantly male teams. For this, I have my Dad to thank.

I grew into a woman who was well prepared to head into the male-dominated business world, leading meetings and trainings with predominantly male teams. For this, I have my Dad to thank. Share on X

I always knew my Dad loved us – many days it was tough love, but love none the less. When I really wanted to do something fun with my friends growing up, this tough love meant I had to build a good case, proving why it makes sense, to win the green-light from my tough-ass Dad. I can say without a doubt that he sharpened my communication & negotiation skills, which have now been hard at work earning the trust of fellow Sales Leaders to win their business.


Our Dad was one of the most efficient farmers (yes, I may be a bit biased). There was a certain way to do things for every aspect of growing tobacco, and he ensured every person who worked for him did things the right way…or “the George way”. As I reflect with my own business and team, I realize this trait may have rubbed off on me too. I set high standards for our Teneo team, our training and engagement. In a recent team meeting we discussed how there is the right way, alternative way and the “Lisa way” of going about a project. I’m more like my Dad than I thought.


Dad loved sports, and eventually started coaching hockey and became active in the local hockey association. This was fitting, as he liked to voice his opinion on how to do things and sometimes liked to ”stir the pot”. I still remember him writing a letter to our local newspaper editor, stating how the town’s Minor Hockey Association could run more effectively. He meant well, but our phone didn’t stop ringing for a week.  As a young girl, I hated his “stir the pot” approach for driving change, and it actually swayed me in the opposite direction. I was determined to be more curious, ask more questions, better understand various people’s perspectives, and ultimately “collaborate” for the best win-win possible. This has carried through into my professional career as well, thanks Dad.

Even though humour and deflection were much more his style than publicly expressing feelings, I’m very grateful for what I learned from him and how he shaped me into who I am today. Dad, enjoy your life in heaven; I’m sure you’ve already arranged a baseball game and are running those bases once again.



With the uprise in technology, new generations entering the workforce, and varied preferences in terms of communication styles, a phenomenon has developed that has become all too common in the sales world: professional ghosting.

It’s a strange phenomenon where potential clients seem to vanish into thin air, leaving us high and dry with no response to our follow-up emails, calls, LinkedIn messages, or carrier pigeons. It’s frustrating, confusing, and sometimes it can really get under your skin!

To address the ghosting you’re faced with, you first need to understand that there is more than just one type.

There’s the classic “disappearing act” ghost, where a prospect simply stops responding to your emails or calls seemingly without reason. Then there’s the “we need to reschedule” ghost, where a client repeatedly cancels meetings at the last minute, leaving you hanging. We also have the “ever elusive” ghost who not even the Ghost Busters could get a hold of, and finally, we can’t forget about the “I’m just not that into you” ghost, where a client gives you the ol’ “we’ll be in touch” brush-off and then proceeds to never speak to you again while dodging all communication.

So how do you deal with professional ghosting? Here are the top 5 tips for exorcising the ghosts from your inbox:

1. Don’t take it personally

Remember, it’s not you, it’s them. Maybe their organization is in a really busy period, maybe they’re overwhelmed or sidetracked with personal matters, or maybe they’re just not interested! Whatever the case may be, your prospect’s lack of action is not a direct reflection of your sales skills. Above all, try to maintain a positive attitude. Rejection is a natural part of sales, and you can’t win them all. Remember that every “no” brings you one step closer to a “yes.” Keep pushing forward and stay focused on your 30, 60, and 90-day goals. Your prospect's lack of action is not a direct reflection of your sales skills Share on X

2. Consider what’s in it for them.

The “let me introduce myself/my company” emails no longer cut it! Your prospecting messages have to convey a strong, compelling reason to meet in order to reduce the risk of getting ghosted. If you can show your prospect why they should care to meet with you and that you’ve done your research to see how you and your service can help them (specifically!) – you’re on the right track to saving the sale.

3. Follow up, but don’t be annoying.

It’s okay to send a polite email or make a quick call to check in, but don’t bombard them with messages. If they don’t respond after a few attempts (I’d recommend no more than 4), it’s probably time to move on.

4. Use humor to break the ice.

If you do get a response after a period of silence, try using humor to lighten the mood and break up any potentially awkward tension. You could say something like, “I was starting to think you’d fallen into a black hole! Glad to see I can call off the search party!”, or “You had me worried – I was about to send out the cavalry!”.

5. Learn from the experience.

If you do get ghosted, take the opportunity to reflect on what you could have done differently. Maybe there was something about your approach that turned them off, maybe you weren’t adapting to their personality or communication style, or maybe you had tried to sell too soon without building strong enough rapport and trust.


Professional ghosting is an unfortunate reality of the sales world today, but with a little bit of humor and a lot of persistence, you can navigate this tricky situation and come out an even better Sales Professional. And hey, if all else fails, just remember – there are plenty of fish in the sea, and plenty of potential prospects in the world. Keep on being Strategic, Proactive & Brave!



Great sales and business results don’t happen by accident or luck. They happen because teams are being strategic, proactive, and brave!

Being in sales myself, I understand the sprint to the finish line! The rush to close out the year strong, hit your targets, and lock-down any opportunities from the past. Strategic planning for the future is easy to push onto the back burner, but as the saying goes – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!Strategic planning for the future is easy to push onto the back burner, but as the saying goes – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Share on X

Now some of you may be thinking; “2023 is coming whether I’ve planned for it or not – I’ll figure it out when it gets here” or “I come up with great plans on-the-fly! I don’t need to start planning yet.”. There are so many benefits to planning right now – from reduced strain on leadership, to having an edge over the competition. Still need some convincing of why you and your team should be making strategic planning a priority?

Check out the top 5 reasons you should be strategic planning NOW:


1. Understanding the company’s future plan helps to empower employees & increase accountability

It is incredibly important for employees to understand where their company is headed, why they’re headed in that direction, and the role they play in helping the company get there. It not only helps people to feel connected and organized, but it creates a buy-in and builds accountability!


2. Strategic Planning reduces future strain on leadership

Employees with a clear sense of direction require less from managers and leaders. Everyone has a lot on their plates & rarely does a leader have an excess of time to spend monitoring and delegating to-do lists to employees. Micromanagement isn’t needed if you’ve created the right environment and defined the work that needs to be accomplished through strategic planning!


3. Waiting until December to plan for the following year is too late

December is arguably one of the busiest months for sales leaders and teams. Everyone is in overdrive to hit their goals, close out any floating opportunities, and get out Christmas shopping! It is incredibly difficult to get teams together for strategic planning sessions, and doesn’t leave much time for any findings to be digested and deliberated. Strategic planning is not something to rush. Planning early in October or November leaves time for employees to consider the strategies, come up with new suggestions, soak-in the information & close the year feeling prepared for what’s to come.


4. Strategic planning resets the company’s compass

It’s easy for organizations to fall out of being proactive and into a reactive mode. Strategic planning is the reset for your company’s compass – getting you back on track and back in the driver’s seat. It allows you to see where you may have strayed from your ideal path throughout the year, while mapping out how to navigate your way back to your goal destination.Strategic planning is the reset for your company’s compass – getting you back on track and back in the driver’s seat. Share on X

5. Planning now can give you the upper hand over your competitors

A little planning can go a long way – especially if you’re in a competitive market! Analyzing not only your organization’s performance but also your competition is a fantastic way to pinpoint areas for improvement, growth, and differentiation. The sooner you have this information, the better you can plan and strategize for the next quarter (or even year!).


If you’re ready to start strategic planning NOW – download our Strategic Key Account Plan, 3-Year Goal Planning Table, and Ideal Client Analysis templates!

Looking for something to get the whole team on board with Strategic Planning? Introduce some fun, accountability, and teamwork by kicking off a Strategic Planning Workshop – reach out to Catherine for more details!



Have you ever wished you could get a glimpse inside the minds of your sales team?

  • Do they feel supported?
  • What is challenging them?
  • What motivates them?

If yes, you’re in luck! We had the pleasure of bringing together a panel of 6 incredible emerging sales professionals from a variety of organizations and industries, who are thriving in their roles. They have been in sales anywhere from 7 years to 1 year but one thing they all have in common is that they’re all willing to share their insights and advice with Sales Leaders, to help pave the way for future sales talent!

Top 5 Tips from the Emerging Sales Talent:

1. If you’re looking to attract and retain new sales talent, be sure to evaluate your company culture!

Nearly all of our emerging sales talent panelists stated that a growth-oriented company with a unique or differentiated market position was important to them. Another valuable factor was a culture of support and team unity – knowing that they can ask questions, share ideas, and lean to one another throughout the highs and lows of their sales careers.


2. While there are expectations of new talent, they have expectations of their Sales Leaders.

Emerging sales talent crave leaders who trust them to do their jobs. They value autonomy, but still want to know that their leader is available to help and guide if needed.  New sales talent also want a leader who will challenge them and push them out of their comfort zone! Leaders who are willing to give new talent the opportunity to execute their job in their own style, while setting them up for success with the necessary tools and strategies are incredibly valuable to those looking to enter the world of sales.


3. Good On-Boarding can make or break talent retention.

Our emerging sales talent shared that starting their career feeling low-pressure from the top down and being informed of their typical sales-cycle length was a major comfort factor. Another on-boarding must; introductions to the entire team. Salespeople understand that there is more to securing a sale than just a meeting between the rep and a buyer – they want to meet and understand the people and the roles that make the company and entire sales process run as a well-oiled machine.

The “sink-or-swim” on-boarding of the past is simply not an effective tool if you’re looking to attract, retain, and develop top talent.


4. Looking to attract new grads to your sales team? Money isn’t the only motivator.

Promoting an environment where your candidates know they can learn, try, fail, and still be supported by their leader is a must. Honesty and transparency in your job postings is also crucial for finding the perfect fit. Top talent want to see that there are mentorship opportunities for them, and other benefits such as professional development, commission, travel opportunities, a bonus structure, and vacation days. Another valuable perk to new grads; mental health benefits!

Sales can be tough and full of rejection, especially when you’re just starting out. Candidates expect more than just a salary to hold strong through the hard parts – they want support! Sales can be tough and full of rejection, especially when you’re just starting out. Candidates expect more than just a salary to hold strong through the hard parts – they want support! Share on X

5. They need space to grow, or they may go!

A common piece of advice that our emerging sales talent panel offered to Sales Leaders; show your salespeople a potential pathway for career growth – along with potential for higher earnings – or risk being left behind. Staying stagnant in a role, year after year isn’t appealing to most & hardly fosters company pride and loyalty. Lay out (or better yet, collaborate on) a clear pathway with timelines and KPIs, that can help your salespeople envision a future with your organization that will move them to a role they aspire to hold.


Leading a sales team is no small task – and harder yet is understanding the expectations, motivations, and challenges of each individual on your team. While nothing can beat a conversation with your immediate team, the insights provided by the emerging sales talent panelists are sure to set you well on your way to attract, hire, and retain top sales talent.


*Contributed ideas by the Emerging Sales Talent Panelists:  Adam GoresRiley MeladySamantha JessomeNick MitchellSpencer Smith, and Grayson Wesley.



With the year winding down, most salespeople have the pedal to the metal to crush their sales targets & start building pipelines for 2022. For some, this looks like persistent cold-calling and follow-up emails on follow-up emails. If this sounds familiar – let me remind you of a magnificent tool called referrals.

I’ll admit, at first I was hesitant to ask clients for referrals because I felt it was asking for a favour. I quickly found out that not only is it a lot less daunting than it may seem, but most people are actually happy to provide a referral (bonus points if you can give them a referral back!).

Over the past few years, I’ve made a concerted effort to ask for referrals. Recently, I completed our yearly analysis & discovered that over 80% of our new business was sourced from referrals!

Still doubting the power of referrals? Here’s the facts:

  • People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend or colleague.
  • 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.
  • 83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience – yet only 29% actually do.
  • The lifetime value for new referral customers is 16% higher than non-referrals.
  • 87% of frontline salespeople, 82% of sales leaders, and 78% of marketers surveyed agree that referrals are the best leads your business can get.
  • 69% of B2B frontline salespeople, 70% of sales leaders, and 67% of marketers believe that referred leads close faster than other leads.


From the Buyer’s Perspective:

  • 73% of B2B Buyers prefer to work with sales professionals who have been referred to them by someone they know.
  • 76% of B2B executives prefer to work with vendors who have been recommended by someone they know.
  • Having a personal connection with a Buyer (such as through peer recommendation/referrals) makes you 4.2 times more likely to get an appointment.
  • B2B Buyers are 5 times more likely to engage when someone else introduces them to your company.
Source: referralrock.com


Ok, so you’re probably seeing the importance of referrals now, but what next?

Start developing your referral strategy!


Don’t waste your valuable referrals – keep in mind the following traits that sellers need to have, to get and keep a buyer’s attention:

  • Healthy respect for their time; it’s valuable to them and should be to you
  • Ability to lead meetings in an organized and concise manner
  • Tenacity
  • A genuine interest in building relationships with their clients
  • Integrity
  • The insights to ask thought-provoking questions that show understanding of the prospect’s business

Be strategic, be proactive, and be brave when asking for referrals to secure more new business & build a strong pipeline for 2022!