Your last sale interactions hold the secrets that can transform you into a sales gladiator
By Phil McShan
Think back to the first time you heard a recording of your own voice. There’s a good chance you were convinced it wasn’t you before realizing that unfamiliar voice is the one others hear when they listen to you. As a singer in the Vocal Majority in Dallas, I have to listen to my own voice—even when it’s uncomfortable. As a singer, I’ve learned that if I want to improve, I must listen to myself, evaluate my performance, and make adjustments. The same is true in selling.
The most successful people in selling and in life are the most self-aware. What you are earning today is a result of what you currently believe and do. If you want to earn more, have more success, and see different results, you have to change what you believe and what you do. You must be committed to growing and learning every day—starting with a deliberate look in the mirror.
Here’s the challenge: review the “game film” after every sales conversation or interaction you have each day. In sports, this is how coaches take players to the next level. They look at the game film, analyze what worked well and what didn’t, and then coach players to take their game to a new level. ALWAYS rewind and “watch” your mind’s recording. The best sales pros I know learn and grow through honest self-evaluation. After every sales interaction, ask yourself three simple questions:
1. What am I proud of? When you think about the conversation or interaction, recognize and be proud of what you did well. Consider the specific questions you asked that helped discover the prospect’s driving force. Think about the steps you took to move the sale forward. How were you successful?
For many the typical first question is “What should I have done?” If you catch yourself asking this question first, be careful. When we start with the negative, we can create a self-shaming mindset. On the flip side, when we intentionally start with focusing on our successes, we are programing ourselves to reinforce the positive beliefs and behavior—simple cause and effect. When we focus on what we do well, we actually get better at that belief or behavior because we are programing our mind to say “I’m good at that!” and will strive to improve. For example, if you are a 7 at asking great questions, when you reinforce this belief, your brain will work on ways to get even better and you’ll soon be an 8 or 9. Imagine the results of that improvement!
2. If I had a do-over, what would I do differently? While they’ll certainly recognize players with stand-out plays, coaches don’t watch just the flawless moments. They’re watching the ones were the quarterback hesitated, the running back stumbled, or the point guard miscommunicated because this is where they can take things to the next level. I first discovered the concept of a do-over when I was a kid playing ball in the neighborhood. If you hit the ball in the bushes, you would holler “do-over!” and get another chance—as if it didn’t happen. Remember, too many times we create negative programming when we say we should have done something. Instead of thinking we screwed up, do-over thinking creates growth programing and readily proclaims, ‘Next time, I’ll be better.’
If you had do-over, when they posed an objection, how would you have responded differently? When we start to think with a do-over mindset, our brain goes to work creating new solutions to use with future client conversations.
3. What’s next? Next is a transformational, powerhouse word. Now that you have established what you’re proud of and can identify your do-over moments, it’s time to move forward—time to plan the next step. What is the agenda for the next conversation with this prospect? Do I know why they are unsatisfied with their current home? How will my home and community improve their life? Create a strategy for the next conversation and get on with it.
If you want to take this to a new level, record the actual interaction. In addition to playing it for yourself, give it to your “coaches” (or anyone who can help you improve) to evaluate and offer feedback. As hard as it is to give recordings of my own voice to others, it is exactly how I’ve improved.
Want to transform yourself into a sales gladiator? Think about your last sales interaction. Replay the mind-video. What are you proud of? What would you do differently? What’s next? Answering these simple questions after EVERY sales conversation will take your career to another level. Don’t be afraid to hit play. Go for it—start asking and start growing!
Phil McShan is National Trainer at Forrest Performance Group. He may be reached at www.forrestpg.com