4 Interesting Lessons Learned in Sales (Last Year)
In this episode Rob talks about some of the lessons learned from last year. These are things that he had forgotten or had something happen and it reminded him how important it was to do something. Lessons learned are simply the thing that you should have done, looking back, that would have improved your odds of winning the sale. A good example of lessons learned can be as simple as, “I should have responded to their statement with this answer instead of what I actually said.” This allows you to review the situation and record all lessons learned and begin the process of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement leads to improved sales processes and helps you close more sales.
Sales Lessons Learned #1: Sale Isn’t Closed Until The Check Has Cleared.
The first lesson learned was staying focused on solving the potential client’s problem and worrying less about the check. That said, he was reminded how important it is that the sale isn’t closed until the check is in hand, deposited, and cleared!
Sales Lessons Learned #2: Who Is REALLY Involved?
The second lesson learned that Rob talks about is finding out he didn’t know someone was behind the scenes making decisions. Have you ever gotten to the point when you think the deal is going to close, only to find out there’s someone else that needs to approve? You have to get them involved as early as possible. Definitely a lesson learned.
Sales Lessons Learned #3: Know When To Charge More!
When you are selling and you or your team is running out of time to do their work…their week is packed (and we mean really packed, not you think the week is packed but still have time to go out for lunch). That’s when you need to raise prices. If you can control your pricing, this is the time to increase pricing. If you can’t control pricing, it is the time you need to ask questions about raising the prices. This is a great lesson learned!
Sales Lessons Learned #4: Get Started When the Pipeline Goes Dry
When the pipeline is full, you are more confident, you come across as the right person for the job. When the pipeline is a bit thin, it’s time to get started. Rob tells a story about when things were going well, but the pipeline was slowly drying up. Luckily he saw it happening and got back to work, instead of waiting until it was too late!
What are YOUR Lessons Learned last year? Share them with us so we can share with our listeners!
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Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.
Welcome back, everybody to The Slow Pitch. And today I want to talk about my lessons learned from last year about selling some of these may be a little bit of a surprise. So let’s get started.
This is The Slow Pitch Podcast.
Alright, so last year, good year for a lot of people. And I thought it might be interesting to kind of talk about a few items that I felt were lessons learned. They were a little bit either of a new thing or something that reminded me or something that I realized that I was missing or didn’t think about. So I thought I would go through that today. So the first thing I learned last year with sales, is it’s not over until the check clears. Now, I guess I don’t necessarily mean that when the check clears. And it may take 14 days before I really know that the sale is cleared. But I think what I really am trying to say is is is there was a situation where I was having a conversation with a with a potential client, we were going through all the motions, everything felt, right, everything seemed like it was going to finish up and get a contract signed, and all that good stuff. But the last few few days, all of a sudden, things kind of went a little slow. And I didn’t know what was going on. And so the more that I started to dig in, the more that I started asking questions, the less they they decided to respond. And so what I found out was that they weren’t going to close as quickly as I thought there was a little item that came up that slowed them down. Now eventually, they just you know, eventually they did end up closing because the issue was something more driven by corporate than it was anything else and that they needed some clear clarification of some things and just some legalese that needed to be finalized. Well, that’s fine, and probably should have been dealt with earlier, right. But what happened to me was, I realized, this deal was not over until that cheque got into my hands, and it went into the bank. And it finally cleared at some point. So if you take credit card, that’s another good sign, right. So you get a credit card number pretty good sign, probably not going to cancel their credit card before you get started. Right. So that was one of those things that I learned. And it reminded me always make sure that you’re staying focused until the deal is done.
The second lesson learned was, you really need to know who is involved behind the scenes. Here’s a situation I was working through a sales meeting, there were a couple people involved. And while I thought I had all the right people in the room, as we moved into the next meeting, I realized there’s probably another person that’s supposed to be involved in this. And by asking a couple of questions, they finally came around and said, Yes, we should have them in the room. But had I missed that tiny little detail. And this person had the right to say no. And also had the right to say yes, they had the ability to do both. But they had more importantly the right to say no to the deal closing, if they only had the right to say yes, then they’re less important, right. So if you have nobody that’s going to stop you that’s different. But this person also had the right to say no. And so by bringing them in a little bit before, I would have been a little bit smoother in my process, it would have closed a little faster, it would have gone through a little sooner, it would have been easier to do. But I didn’t. And that was a lesson that I learned.
The third item that I learned this year, when you’re running out of time, you need to charge more. Here’s an example of you’re the owner of the business, you’re also the salesperson, right you have several things that you have to do. You may have a team, but you’re the main person bringing in the business, when you’re in that role, you might start to find yourself meeting yourself at the door, let’s say you only you know, you walk in, you feel like you just let yourself walking out yesterday, or vice versa, right? You’re like, well, I feel like I’m always at work. I’m constantly working. I’ve got my team working, but I feel like I’m running out of time or my team is now maxed out and I’m closing more deals than is a sure sign that you need to start to charge more for what you’re doing. And unless you do that, you’re never going to find out what the market will bear. So that’s a lesson learned for anybody out there who is feeling like they’re running like crazy, but they keep selling more and more and more. And it’s not seeming to let up. That’s the time that you probably need to start to look at how much more should I be charging so that more doesn’t close as quickly. And if it does, I can spend the amount of time that I should be spending and maybe make a little bit more money for my time.
And the fourth thing that I learned about selling this year was you just have to get started. There was a couple of weeks where I was doing really well and things were cruising along. My team was busy. I was busy. Everybody was busy. We started charging more. It started to slow it down a little bit which was good we closed some more but making more money. And when I say close more, I mean like close Just a deal that was worth a lot more. So I can actually work on closing lesson number quantity deals, going through all of that I after a little while I started to slow down, I was like I’m living high off the high, right? And I’m like I’m doing well, I don’t have to worry, things are going well. There were days, sometimes weeks that just went by where I’m like, Ah, you know, I don’t feel like doing it, I’m just gonna do this. Instead, I’m gonna do that instead. And guess what next thing, you know, it’s starting to get a little sparse all of a sudden, so this is middle of the year. And I’m realizing if I don’t get my act together here, we’re not going to have a good year. So instead of kind of just sitting there worrying about it, I basically just started doing the networking thing, I started calling more people, I started following up on old leads that I hadn’t really done a good job of, and came back and said, hey, you know, you’ve probably all set already, but I just want to make sure I know you, we kind of disappeared from each other. But you know, you never know. And one or two of those started to come back to life. And then I started working on some other stuff with networking. And I started asking for a couple of referrals from some people that I was working with. And then the business started coming back again. So if you’re in that boat, where you’re like, Man, I, I just don’t know where to start. I don’t know what to do. I’m not feeling like the pressure of I need more sales, don’t feel the pressure, just get started. It’s okay, if you’re a little behind. It’s okay, do the things that you know will get you the sales in the long term. And you will be fine over the long haul. I share this with you because I find it to be helpful. When I learned from other people. I listen to other people just like you do. And when I start to hear certain things, I have to ask myself, Is this real? Or is this in my head. And when I started to listen, I started to realize these are things that I’m missing. I didn’t do very well, where I wasn’t getting started as quickly as I should have. And with that, I’m hoping that these lessons that I learned, you’ll learn something and it’ll keep you out of hot water or it’ll prevent you from not getting the sale, you’ll get the sale instead. But the most important part about all of this is that you slow down in the sales process because when you slow down, you’ll actually close more. Until next time, thanks for listening.
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