3 Ways To Avoid Frustration and Failure
Not making your sales? Working with a difficult customer? Facing a challenge that’s immobilizing you? These are all problems that you might face in sales. What can you do about them? You need to have a process to solve them. Here’s how to get started.
First realize you have a problem.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to sales. The first step to solve your problem is to recognize that you do have a problem. That sounds easier than it is. Too often the pace of selling keeps you from reflecting on what’s working and more important, what’s not working. As you continue to do the same things over and over again, you will continue to get the same results. Those results might be frustration and disappointment.
The first step to recognizing you have a problem is to pay attention to those times when you are frustrated or disappointed. The mental trigger I have is when I think, “This isn’t working.” While I might not act immediately on the issue, I recognize that I have a problem. I must act on it so I schedule the time to address the problem.
You are not the only one who can recognize a problem. Your manager or customers may tell you they have an issue. Some might think they can dismiss or minimize their issue. You can’t. You do have a problem when your manager or customer tells you that they have one. Move their issues to high priority. Their issues directly impact your sales and career and neglecting their concerns is foolish.
Let’s say you notice a problem with customers not keeping appointments with you. Look at your appointment setting process to outline the steps. Perhaps someone else sets your appointments. Ask what that person is saying to set the appointment. You might find that the appointment setter is being overly aggressive to set appointments and isn’t communicating a compelling need for the customer to keep the appointment. There could be other reasons like calling on the wrong prospects. By looking at your process you can retrace the steps to see where there’s a break down.
Next, generate different ideas that could solve your problem. You might find it productive to brainstorm with another salesperson or your manager. You might even ask the appointment setter what he thinks is the issue. Start by asking yourself, “What if we did…?” questions to propose changes. You could provide your appointment setter with a list of questions to identify ideal prospects. For example, you only want appointments with customers with a particular job title, or those experiencing a particular issue.
It’s always a good idea to get acceptance from the person who is key to the success of your process. Asking questions like, “Can you support this moving forward?” or “Do you have other ideas on how to accomplish this?” foster better communication and more likely support for implementing the new ideas.
Implement and measure.
Having a plan isn’t the same thing as implementing the plan. You must take action. Be sure to monitor your results. You should start seeing more appointments kept after you implement your new appointment setting strategy. Hopefully you have solved your problem. Numbers don’t lie. You must revisit the problem if you are still seeing canceled appointments.
The essence of sales is solving problems. Customers buy products when they need solutions. When you solve your sales problems you make it easier to sell more and solve your customers’ problems.