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You Can Always Sell More by Knowing the Best Questions to Ask When You Lose a Sale By Sales Tr ain er Jim Pan cer o By Sales Tr ain er Jim Pan cer o jim @pancer o.com pan cer o.com jim @ he reality of selling is that you and the rest of your sales team should always be losing some new business opportunities. Not experiencing selling losses just means you aren't being proactive enough in your selling efforts and aren't going after enough new business on a regular basis. So, since losing business to your competitors on a regular basis is a reality of any salesperson's life, then how much value and new information are you and your team getting from the sales that you do lose? The high-ego'd, independent gunfighter mentality of most sales professionals means they only tend to look for and celebrate their sales wins as proof of their selling expertise and personal superiority, and completely ignore and refuse to discuss any business they do lose. After all, their high ego doesn't allow them to see a sales loss as their personal fault. They have to prove they lost the business due to their price being too high, their management's fault, their competitor's unfairly winning the business, or their customer just being an idiot for not seeing their value and uniqueness. T Setting Up Your Opportunity to Debrief a Sales Loss As a career sales professional, the goal is to receive some benefit or value from everything you do and every prospect or customer you attempt to sell. Let's say you invested significant selling time and effort over the last several months in your attempt to win a prospect's business. But your main buyer contact is on the phone telling you they've decided to 40 FEDA New s & View s buy from your competitor instead of from you.There are three steps you can follow to help you set up your opportunity to learn more from this prospect about how and why you lost so you can improve your selling processes for your next new selling opportunity. Just like in any other sales call,the first step is to lower your buyer's resistance so they might talk further. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Imagine how uncomfortable it is for the buyer to call all the vendors they've worked with for the last several weeks and tell them that they've decided to do business with their competitor. Remember your goal is to get more information and insight from this loss to help your future selling efforts.The best way to learn more from this prospect is to put them at ease about talking with you,even though you were not the winning vendor.The more resistance and discomfort you create continued on page 42

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