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Analyzing Your Sales Skills
Guest articles > Analyzing Your Sales Skills
by: Daniel Milstein
If you are not meeting your self-imposed or company mandated closing goals, you need to examine the causes and make the necessary modifications.
First, measure your closing ratio. How many real sales calls did you make last month or year? These aren't the casual conversations you have had with people, but rather those instances where you have actually been in a position to sell. How many resulted in closed sales? If you haven't been keeping track of this important statistic, begin doing so now.
Next, analyze what is preventing you from closing more sales. While salespeople often attribute their lack of success to a company deficiency, such as higher prices or slow turnaround, your long-term success as a closer is ultimately your responsibility. Perhaps you aren't able to satisfactorily address the prospects' questions or objections. Or you simply have not asked for the business.
Objectively examine your last 10 failed (or delayed) closings to see if you can identify the problem. To help refine your sales and closing expertise, you can enlist the support of a more experienced salesperson who is willing to critique your strategies. Have them listen to several of your phone calls and sit in on customer meetings and then offer suggestions for improvement. You can also tape your own calls to replay later (you are required by law to let the person at the other end of the line know that you are taping the conversation).
Salespeople may think they have had an ideal conversation with a prospect, only to realize later that they talked too fast, monopolized the conversation or didn't adequately answer the prospect's questions. By studying your presentation, you should be able to pinpoint any mistakes and make the appropriate adjustments, which can include adhering to the previous guidelines.
We spend a great deal of time helping our salespeople polish their closing strategies. Gold Star has an informal closing academy that includes reviewing telephone scripts, monitoring conversations and adjusting originators' conversation styles. We listen to their prospect calls and offer suggestions about their initial approach and how they handle the close. While we don't have an actual graduation exercise, these students know that our class in The ABC of Sales will help ensure a long and successful career.
I always tell salespeople looking for an edge against their competition to be attuned to the unusual and unexpected sales opportunities. It doesn't take that much more effort to get in the Always Be Closing mindset, I remind them. After a while, it becomes second nature. And you will find that your day, and indeed your career, will be that much more exciting and rewarding.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
Published here on: 20-May-12