As we continue to investigate profit leaks it’s important to investigate why sales were, or were not, made. A smart salesperson learns from his successes as well as his failures. When you take the time to understand what contributes to each one, you recreate your wins and minimize your losses.
Do you make the time to find out what happened to the non-buyer? Did they buy elsewhere? Why? This is all-important research, and the information you gain should be entered into your CRM so that you learn from it.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a theory that outlined the Four Stages of Learning, which is particularly important in today’s culture of steady information. We now have so much information at our fingertips, but are we reaching out for it?
Here are the four stages:
1. Unconscious incompetence. The individual does not understand or know how to do something, but does not necessarily recognize the deficit. In other words, you don’t know what you don’t know.
2. Conscious incompetence. Although this person does not know how to do something, he or she at least recognizes this lack, as well as the value of learning the new skill—like those people who say, “I know that learning how to use social media is important for my career.”
3. Conscious competence. This person understands or knows how something is done, but needs to concentrate in order to do it. When you’re first learning something, like driving a stick shift, you have to focus on the steps.
4. Unconscious competence. With so much practice, the action becomes ingrained and you don’t even have to think about doing it—tying a shoe, riding a bicycle, or following the route to work.
• Train your team to ask themselves “Why?” and “Why not?”
• Study the answers to see how you can improve.
• Are the prospects still in the market?
• Did they buy elsewhere?
• Could you have put them on a credit repair program to make the sale later?
• Have conditions changed that would impact making the sale now?
BOTTOM LINE: Learn what makes or breaks the sales, and use that knowledge to increase sales competence.