If you want to improve your tele-prospecting and/or tele-sales results, ask yourself four simple questions the moment you hang up the phone.
I call this “The Post Call Debrief” and if you’re completely and utterly honest with yourself you’ll learn to leverage your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Apply the Debrief process to successful and not-so-successful calls and you’ll start improving your sales results.
Question #1: What did I do right?
You’ve just spoken to a prospect or perhaps a client. Maybe you got a sale, maybe you didn’t. Either way, pause a moment and ask yourself “What did I do right on this call?” Think of your planning, opening, questioning, presentation and close. What did you do well?
Patting yourself on the back is important provided you balance your assessment with the other questions. By acknowledging what you did well, you reinforce good sales behavior; you build on it; you master it. You get stronger at selling. It shows the positives even if the call was not an ultimate success. You get balance.
Question #2: What did I not do?
This one is a little harder because it forces you to be self-critical and it can be difficult to face up to weaknesses. Ask yourself, where did I blow it? Was your opening weak? Was the delivery lame? Did you collapse like a house of cards on a simple objection? Were your questions effective? Did your close lack a firm follow up date and time? Be tough on yourself. Look inward. It’ll make your stronger and wiser.
The moment you see a flaw, big or small, and acknowledge it, is the moment you have taken personal responsibility for the end result. You can fix what see and acknowledge? Ignore it or bury it and you won’t improve. Period.
Question #3: What should I have done?
This is a variation of question #3 above. In the above scenario, you identify what you did not do. In this scenario you want to articulate what you should have done? Be specific. For example, “I should have taken another 30 seconds to plan my questions rather than winging it like I did.” Or “I should have rehearsed the opener so it flowed naturally instead of bungling it.” Or, “I should have had a date and time prepared for a follow up call.”
When you do this, you begin the ‘repair’ process.
Question #4: What will I do going forward?
Perhaps this is more of an affirmation than it is a question but it is designed to get you to commit to applying the actions immediately on the next call. For instance, “I will practice my opener before I dial the next client,” “I will develop three questions that prompt for a ‘pain’ motivator before I even look at the next name of the list,” “I will post my objections job aid on my cubicle wall right now.”
If Question #3 reveals what you should have done, then Question #4 gets you take action immediately to remedy the situation. Of course, you MUST DO IT and not just say it.
The neat thing about the Post Call Debrief is that it normally takes less than a minute to conduct. Your mind works that fast and usually the mistakes you make after often due to carelessness or haste. You know it right away and you can fix it. Other calls might be a little more bewildering and might take longer.
Whatever the time, it is time well spent. That’s how you get smarter at selling.