You just walked out from an appointment with your client or prospect and now it’s off to your next task for the day. STOP! What you do next can have a profound impact on your future success in sales. Before moving on to your next task, take two minutes and conduct a self-evaluation of your performance by asking yourself these questions:
1. How did that meeting go? (Honestly rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10)
2. What could I have done better?
3. What did I do well?
4. What did I say or do that I should not have said or done?
Statistically, only 1 in 7 salespeople conduct a self-evaluation after each sales interaction. 85% of salespeople fail to do this.
Self-evaluation is not just for sales. Top athletes self-assess how they performed after each performance. They ask themselves… 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?
This same rule applies to management. If your goal is to improve and continually become a better manager, you too should evaluate yourself after every individual or group meeting with your sellers.
If you are in the 85% of sellers that do not currently do self-evaluations, START! By doing so, your performance will continue to get better with every customer contact.
With a world that has been turned upside down, sales that have fallen to unprecedented levels, and a future that is still filled with uncertainty, recruiting new employees may not be the top priority on your To-Do list. However, an old proverb says, “the best time to make hay is while the sun is shining”.
There are two major reasons to consider looking for your next superstar, right now, while the sun is shining:
Reason #1: Major “Life” events, including what we’ve just experienced, cause people to “re-think” their priorities. For many, this means considering a career move.
A Gallup poll shows that during normal times 67% of U.S. employees are disengaged at work, and 51% say they are actively looking for a new job or are open to one. We can only assume that these numbers have spiked along with unemployment.
Reason #2: As people return to work, some will be even more disengaged. The personalities and beliefs of owners and managers and the “return to work” policies they implement will determine the level of their employees’ anxiety. Some will think the precautions and mandates will be too much, while others will believe it is not enough, both causing uneasiness, disgruntlement, and reasons to ultimately look for a different employer.
One of the most important duties of a manager is building and maintaining a strong team. While recruitment may not be a top priority, it should always be a high priority and a regular, ongoing function for every manager. There is nothing worse than having one of your sellers hand you their two-week notice when you don’t have someone on the bench. The truth is … the two reasons listed above apply to your employees as well.
While it may feel and seem odd, the sun is truly shining. So, get the recruitment machine fired up, make sure the barn is ready, and start making hay! The sun is shining!
Stay Safe – Stay Healthy – Stay Strong!
Whether these infamous words were spoken to you by your parents, a teacher, or a sales trainer, at some point we were all taught a lesson through this expression, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more and talk less”.
Talking “too much” and not knowing when to “shut up” is one of the most common mistakes made in sales.
As true and profound as that statement normally is, this week, I am going against the grain a bit and suggesting that instead of listening more and talking less, you are going to need to talk a little more than normal to get your clients and prospects to say “Yes“!
Bear with me before you go and say, “He must have ‘lost it’ over the last few weeks”! Hear me out. In normal times I agree, talking less and listening more is nearly always the best recipe for success, but in case you have forgotten, we are in the “new normal”, at least for the time being.
Continuing from our last ENS on Sales topic, Ideas and Plans = Courage, we know that as you return to the streets and start making presentations, you will be greeted with a different tone. That tone will be the sound of hesitance, stalling, reluctance, fear, anxiety, and trepidation, just to name a few!
Talking more does not mean rambling on about things that are not important. What it does mean is being prepared to go deeper than you potentially normally go. Be prepared to answer more questions and objections. This means you will need to be better prepared with testimonials, facts, and words of assurance. Instead of accepting the client’s first or second “no”, be willing to go the extra mile to explain that advertising is the right thing to do, all while answering their objections and calming their fears.
With all this said, there is another old expression that needs to be adhered to which is, “Don’t win the battle, but lose the war”. We are in business-to-business sales and there is always tomorrow!
The moral of this story is not to talk more, but rather, be more prepared. In the near future, it’s going to take better ideas, better proposals, better presentations, and a little more talking to get your clients and prospects to say, “Yes“!