As salespeople, one thing we do not do enough of is personally assessing our sales and presentation skills to see what we are doing wrong that is hurting our ability to make sales.
While most salespeople go through some type of company sales training to learn how to sell the product or service it is their job to sell, the truth is, in all companies, some of the salespeople will be able to sell far more than the other salespeople. In every business you have the sales rockstars, the average salespeople, and the low performers.
Now, with all things being equal, if a group of salespeople all receive the same sales training, why is it that some of them become sales rockstars while others struggle and their sales performance is very poor?
One of the reasons is that high performing salespeople are always self-assessing their sales skills and performance. They are always looking for ways to improve their skills to become better at selling.
If we look at sales statistics, only 1 out of 7 salespeople perform self-evaluations after every sales interaction they have with a prospect or client. Not surprisingly, it is those salespeople who are always conducting self-evaluations of their sales interactions that are the top performers.
Top sales performers have discovered that to continuously improve their sales skills and make a higher percentage of sales, they must perform a self-evaluation of their performance after every sales interaction. When you think about this it makes sense. For you to be able to improve your sales skills, you need to analyze your own performance after every sales interaction. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? What could you have done better?
You will find that top athletes do this too. After every performance they self-assess how they performed. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? Where did they fall short? What can they improve? What can they do to give themselves a competitive advantage?
If you want to be a top performing salesperson, you need to self-evaluate your every sales performance after every sales interaction to find ways to continuously improve your sales game.
Unfortunately, 85% of salespeople never do this. Some don't because they are not aware of the benefits of performing a self-evaluation after every sales interaction, and some are just lazy and they do the minimum required to keep their job.
Think of writing down a self-evaluation of your sales performance like a sales diary that reminds you of what you’ve done right during a sales interaction and what you may have done wrong or forgotten to do. By writing this information down after every sales interaction, you will be able to see your strengths and weaknesses and work to improve your sales skills. This is what top salespeople do. It is how they continuously improve their sales skills and become the best of the best at selling.
Simple. You need to write down a list of sales performance questions, and then you need to answer them after every sales interaction. By doing this you will gain valuable insight into how you are performing during every sales interaction and what you need to do to improve your performance so you can make more sales.
Here is a sample format you can use. However, feel free to customize it to suit your needs.
Answer questions where you rate your overall performance.
• Did my sales interaction go well and did I move the sale forward?
• Did I ask good questions to uncover the needs/problems the prospect has and how the product or service I sell can help the prospect fill their needs and/or solve the problem they are facing?
• Did I listen at least twice as much as I talked?
• Did I build trust and rapport with the prospect?
• Was I respectful to the prospect?
• Did I take steps to move the sale forward such as asking the prospect at least two "closing questions" such as if they are ready to buy now?
• If the prospect did not want to buy during my meeting with him, did I move the sale forward by asking the client to agree to another meeting and scheduling it with him? If no, why not?
Ask yourself if there was anything you did that made a positive impact during your meeting to either make the sale during that meeting or at least move the sale forward by scheduling another meeting. You can use these questions for any of your future sales interactions to be able to close a sale successfully. The questions you can ask yourself can include:
• What were the highlights of the call/meeting, and what did I do to create those highlights? What did I say or do that caused the positive outcome?
• What was the most effective thing I did or said during the interaction that won the sale or at least moved it forward?
• How will I integrate these positive things I did during this successful sales interaction for my future sales interactions with prospects?
Just as you will have sales success, you will have sales failures where your sales interaction went poorly. Always take note of anything that went wrong during your sales interactions and write down what happened and what you learned. Some questions you should ask yourself include:
• Were there any distractions that caused me to makes mistakes during my presentation?
• Did I forget to say/do something important during the call/meeting?
• What did I do or say that the prospect responded negatively to?
• Was I asking good consultative questions to uncover the prospect's needs and wants (SPIN SELLING)?
• Was I truly listening to what the prospect was saying or was I too busy thinking about what I wanted to say to try and close the deal?
• If I could redo this sales interaction, what would I do differently so the outcome would be positive and I either make a sale or at least move the sale forward by scheduling another meeting?
If you truly want to become a top salesperson, conducting self-evaluations after every sales interaction is key. Just like a top athlete is constantly self-evaluating their performances to find ways to improve their skills and win more, you need to do the same with your sales interactions.
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