Two powerful ways to grow your sales
If your business has been experiencing sluggish sales growth in recent times, then perhaps these two suggestions from Logan Wedgwood can get things moving again. If you have ever failed, you know something that those who never tried don’t. You learn much more from failure than you do from success. If you pay attention. However, […]
If your business has been experiencing sluggish sales growth in recent times, then perhaps these two suggestions from Logan Wedgwood can get things moving again.
If you have ever failed, you know something that those who never tried don’t. You learn much more from failure than you do from success. If you pay attention.
However, salespeople are failing every day and missing the opportunity to learn. I’ve distilled what I think are the two main lessons here:
Look at the ones that got away
The first powerful way to grow your business is through lost deal reviews.
What happens when a salesperson loses a deal they should have got? It was their target market customer; they were a shoe-in; it was theirs to lose. And yet, somehow, lose it they did.
Most people hide from this sort of failure and are quick to move on to the next new opportunity. And yet, this is where the real opportunity to learn lies. Moving on quickly may make you feel better, but it doesn’t actually make you better.
All salespeople (every single one of us) need to develop a regular habit of performing lost deal reviews. On a whiteboard write up the names of all the deals lost recently, but that should have been won, and ask the question – “what happened?”
Talk through the process that was followed. Step by step. What was said? Who did what? When did things take place? Was the sales process followed?
If you do this with an open mind, you’ll bank a whole lot of learnings around how things could have been done better.
But that’s not all. Next, write up on the wall a deal that was almost too easy. One that went like clockwork and everything seemed to fall into place. Run through those same questions again. What happened? What process was followed? What was said and done? Who did what?
Finally, put them up beside each other for all the team (or just yourself) to see and ask “what did we learn?” The gap between the two is where your “eureka!” moment exists.
In the first column will be things that weren’t done, processes not followed and things left unsaid. These are the reasons you failed to win the business of a customer that should have been a given. And these are the areas you can improve on.
Go fishing again more strategically
The second powerful way to grow your business is to ask another simple question: Who do we want to do business with?
I don’t mean wheel out your “target market customer profile.” I mean literally write down the names of the companies you want to be doing business with. Then think about how you can instigate a conversation with these customers.
Why aren’t you speaking to them already? What is it you can do for them better than anyone else?
Take the learnings from your lost deal reviews and polish them to win the customers you really want.
Too many businesses don’t put the names of the companies they want to work with up on the wall. Put them out there, and then develop a plan for how you are going to get them. Assign people to different targets. Set milestones and deadlines.
You know what you need to do to win the business. So, here is the final piece of the puzzle: Go and get them.
Stop waiting around for warm leads. Stop with the excuses. Stop shying away from making contact. Stop finding ways to upgrade your website or your collateral or new business cards; it’s all distracting you from the cold, hard reality that you need to get out there.
Go and make it happen.
Logan Wedgwood is an Auckland-based management consultant specialising in marketing and sales. Visit www.threefold.works