Whether you win or lose a sale, there is always room for improvement. But how do you pinpoint how to do even better on your next call? One way is to ask yourself probing questions.
In Good SellingSM: The Basics, Paul H. Green suggested merchant level salespeople (MLSs) ask themselves five questions after each appointment, whether deals are won or lost:
"No matter how your appointment ended, hit these points and you'll have a better grasp of the merchant's needs and how you can position your service to fill those needs next time," Green wrote.
Jeff Fortney expanded on this sage advice in "Perry Mason and the post mortem," The Green Sheet, Sept. 10, 2012, issue 12:09:01. "First and foremost, a post mortem is not an effort to assign blame or fault," he wrote. "It is not an effort to ridicule or to denigrate. It is not a tool to measure failure, and it should not be an emotional process. Rather it is an effort to identify areas of improvement, to track the effectiveness of different sales approaches, and to learn what should be repeated as well as what should be avoided."
Questions Fortney suggested for self-reflection included:
In certain cases it's not a matter of win or lose. Some merchants require long sales cycles that necessitate follow-up phone calls or visits. But how do you maintain momentum without being annoying? In an April 14, 2017, Sales Hacker blog post, John Barrows wrote, "It's a tough question and varies based on the situation, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of maintaining an open communication flow, and decrease the dreaded 'gone dark' scenario."
He offered the following five tips:
So remember, whether it has been a good day or a bad day for your sales efforts, you can ask questions that will give you insights that will help prepare you to do an even better job on your next call.
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