Without a sales coach or manager, my practice of evaluation is necessary to keep me sharp and not complacent or sloppy. During last Friday’s evaluation of the week, there were highs…and lows. I reflected further on the specifics of what went well and what I could have done better.
Here is what I found:
- The Good: Two GREAT sales calls last week. I was prepared, ready to listen, and was very clear on the objectives. And we (the buyer and I) achieved them.
- The Bad: One AVERAGE call. Things are moving forward but I don’t have all the influencers in the next meeting as desired.
- The Ugly: I took a call when I was preoccupied and didn’t listen well, rushed the person to make a decision for the next call, and did an abbreviated follow-up as I was focused on two other deadlines. While the deal is not dead, it is now taking more time to provide references and additional follow-up.
Okay, no more beating myself up on what I didn’t do or can’t change, and no excuses. What should I repeat and what should I NOT do again?
- Prepare. It’s a ‘no kidding’ action, I know I am more successful when I’ve prepared mentally and on paper. One preparation action I took was to ask an internal person for some feedback on how to best work with the buyer. The insights they shared led me to send the agenda in advance and confirm the time, ensured I started with the benefits of the conversation to them, and ended the call 8 minutes earlier than scheduled when we had accomplished our items. They were thrilled!
- Write my follow-up the same day as the sales meeting while everything is fresh in my mind. Let it sit for a bit and re-read it for clarity before sending.
Not Do Again:
- Answer the phone if I am distracted and can’t focus and have a half-baked conversation.
Instead: Answer the phone and ask if we can schedule a time where I can give my full attention.
- Talk over the person or not listen.
Instead: Take notes to help me focus and delay my response while they finish speaking. (I guess duct tape over my mouth would work as well, but oh, the pain of removing it when it is time to speak!)
My goal this week is no more ‘ugly’ sales conversations! Just beautiful, collaborative conversations that help my buyers get what they want and need.
Your Turn! What did you do in the past week that you should repeat over and over? What do you NOT want to do again? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of the Conversations That Sell book.