A good sports person reviews their performance after the event. They are looking for a constructive criticism of their performance to reduce or eliminate their shortcomings and accentuate their strengths. When they sit there, they aren’t using the excuses of ‘he bowled to fast’ or ‘the other driver had a faster car’. Sure, these are sometimes factors, but not ones they can influence.
Some sales don’t go our way – sometimes there is a real reason why the client didn’t proceed with your offer. Often in sales though, it is easier to blame our clients for why things didn’t follow the path we wanted. They were too focused on price; they are wedded to their current supplier; they were just using us for leverage and the list goes on.
A good sales person realises most of the reasons are a by product of them and their process – not those of the client. It is just easier for some of us to blame the client than address the real challenge.
For example – some clients are unashamedly focused on price. But are you comfortable you showed them that sometimes paying the same or a higher price is actually in their interests if they get more value for it or did you just fall foul of racing to the bottom on price as well? Did you demonstrate your value to the client to justify your price?
Often the issue is, unfortunately, just you as a sales person. You didn’t connect with them interpersonally, you didn’t have the knowledge base (or didn’t show it) to convince the client you’re an asset to work with, you didn’t invest enough time in knowing and building trust with the client before asking for business, you were mismatched with the client.
Healthy self criticism and reflection are important aspects of sales. Whether you win or lose – you need to review what happened and why.
We don’t get it right all the time – but next time you reflect on a lost sale, make sure you ask yourself who’s truly to blame?