Reviewing Your Calls Will Increase Sales Performance

April 14, 2008
Reviewing Your Calls Will Increase Sales Performance

I know each of you who is involved with lead generation or phone sales is concerned with your numbers and metrics (call conversion, benchmarks, etc.). It’s unfortunate that your mentors and managers cannot give you advice after every call you handle; however, there is something that you can do to coach yourself: reviewing your calls immediately after disconnecting.

I understand that there are times that as soon as you disconnect a call, another is ready to be made, but there are times when you have a couple of minutes. During this downtime, asking yourself four review questions can make a difference in your performance.

· What did you do well?

· Where do you need to improve next time?

· What surprises were there?

· What will you do differently next time?

What did you do well?

If you sell a prospect, why did they buy in? Look further than the obvious “because they wanted to” and analyze to find out why they chose YOU. Look at areas like: rapport; finding out what his or her needs, wants, or desires are; personal chemistry (attitude, voice, tone, empathy).

How much time did you actively listen? Remember, people care about what they have to say. Through qualifying and probing did you engage the prospect and encourage them to discuss any issues they are currently having?

If they didn’t engage, ask yourself why. Were you assumptive in the close, motivating and encouraging throughout your presentation? Did you find out the root objection (more than “I have to think about it”)? Remember, going through your presentation and waiting for an objection to arise is counter-motivating and will stop you from selling a prospect.

Where do you need to improve next time?

Many people learn best from their mistakes. I know that sounds like a cliché, but for the most part, it does hold true. But there is more to this. Many times when we succeed in something we do not know what we did right or wrong; therefore, we can’t use that success to do even better, and we might not even sustain that success. You should think about the sale in terms of what didn’t work, not just what did work, in order to learn.

What surprises were there?

We all know that there are things that come up on calls that you weren’t prepared for. Ask yourself four main questions:

  1. What surprises were there? What was thrown at me that I wasn’t ready for?
  2. How did you adjust to and overcome these surprises?
  3. How did you handle them? Did you probe to find out about what was behind them, or did you try to talk your way out of them in hopes that things would be forgotten?
  4. Did the surprises come from lack of preparation on your part?

Be honest with yourself; if you feel there was more you could have done to be better situated, identify that area, and then take steps so it doesn’t happen again.

Did the surprises come from lack of listening and questioning?

This again is where active listening plays such an important role. Engaging the prospect and learning about them will help decrease surprises later.

What will you do differently next time?

Each call should end with a commitment from you to change what didn’t work, and to strengthen and enhance what did work.

Furthermore, a good idea is to plug the notes from reviewing your calls into a CRM software such as SalesForce.

Again, reviewing your calls is your decision. No one can force you to do it, but I believe that in doing so you will see an increase in your overall performance. You can simply analyze the call in your head or write it out, but be honest. A couple of points to remember: nobody sells everybody, keep track of your enrollments so you can see the progress you are making, and too often we berate ourselves rather than pat ourselves on the back – make sure your reviews are balanced as to what didn’t work and what did work.

Bill Ziegler

Do you have any ideas on reviewing your calls?

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