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Monday, July 14, 2008

Training Yourself for Sales Failure

Do you ever get off the phone or leave an appointment thinking, “that prospect seemed really interested. He could become a really good client.” You feel good about the outlook with this client. Every time you do this, you train yourself for sales failure.

In fact, you have ended the visit or phone call with the prospect and you have failed to make a sale, you have failed to get any type of commitment whatsoever and now “reward” yourself with some “good feeling” because the conversation went well. Most prospects are pleasant. They won’t say “no” to your face. They will simply string you along. This is likely another pleasant prospect stringing you along and the sad thing is that you feel good about it. You reward yourself for sales failure.

This scenario happens again and again because you are training yourself with positive thoughts every time it occurs. Rather, you should be saying to yourself, “I screwed up if I did not get the sale. Period.” That way, you can take action not to have a failed sale again. Not every successful sales conversation ends in a check. The sale in large cases, may take several steps so each communication needs to have a “sale” defined as a satisfactory conclusion telling you that the prospect has bought the next step. If the conclusion to the meeting would not have been a check, then other acceptable conclusion in a multi-step sales can be:
  • Agreement to meet (or call) again on a specific date and time at a specific location
  • Agreement to sample the item or get started with a toe in the water
  • Agreement to check to another important party and get back to you by a specific time

If you didn’t make the sale, don’t feel good about it. Feel lousy and take corrective action so it does not happen again.