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Personal Finance

Learn from failed sales instead of complaining

Learn from failed sales instead
Learn from failed sales instead of complaining. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

That the presentation did not convert to a sale is not cause to hang your boots nor your head.

I mean, what would you make of a hawker that gave up because you didn’t buy from him?

There are many reasons why the conversion does not happen. It could be that you did not pitch to the ideal person to buy your product (prospect); it could also be that they are ideal, but life happened and they got laid off or paper bags were banned; or, it could be they just didn’t like you, or something you inadvertently did or said.

The point is, not all sales calls convert to purchases (closes) — at least not immediately. Expecting them to will only frustrate you. Instead of lamenting, learn.

Instead of beating yourself because your last two pitches didn’t pan out, work on a reducing your conversion (call-to-close) ratio. When you start it could be as wild as 30:1. Meaning, to get one sale you must pitch to 30 prospects.

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That’s fine. At least you are not flying blind, which is the cause of many sales crashes. The 29 present fertile ground to learn from.

This is because you can cluster them, say, around the seven marketing Ps.

Those that didn’t buy because of price; or, you didn’t show how your product meets his need; or, where you pitched (place) couldn’t let them make a decision, for instance, the prospect wife didn’t expect the husband present and so shuts up about her secret account or, those that found accessing your product means jumping through hoops (process). And so on. If you can’t put a finger on it put it down under people (meaning they just didn’t like you).

It’s not a scientific exercise; the objective is that it will allow you to see where you should focus your greatest efforts. If it is price, likely you are struggling with how to respond to the incessant requests for discounts, seeing them as brick walls instead of objection hurdles.

Learning how to respond to this objection could see you drop to 18: 1 in say five months. Good! Keep at it. If they didn’t like you or the prospect prefers sales ladies carry one along with you for your next visit; they don’t have to say anything but just sit there and look pretty. (I’m serious. It is astounding the reasons why some prospects don’t buy)

And so you grow as the ratio shrinks and soon you are at 5:1. And here’s the thing.

Even at 2:1, that half that does not buy now is not dead in the water; they can buy later when life ‘unhappens’ for them and it will. Any seasoned seller has experience of some version of, “You may not remember me, but in 2014 you came to our company but I didn’t buy from you then. Are you still with XYZ? Please come; I’d like to open an account now.”

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