The best baseball players in the world strike out more often than they get onto base. Despite the constant setbacks they face, they repeatedly return to the plate because they realize an important truth: Every at-bat is another chance for a home run. Developing this mindset in sales is difficult after striking out on three sales calls in a row, but it is a skill MSPs can develop.
Moving forward after a failed sales call
Failure is demoralizing and demoralization can become paralyzing. We know this as well as anyone at The PT Services Group because we occasionally swing and miss. Example: Our recent newsletter campaign flopped. We tried to launch a campaign with a specific test group, but the small pilot program failed to gain the kind of traffic we expected. Although the setback is frustrating, we have more opportunities ahead.
Jumping from sales call to sales call can be just as emotionally draining, especially when you strike out along the way. Here’s the good news: You can use the data you collect from those failed meetings to adjust your stance and optimize your performance for the next one. Here’s a three-part strategy you can use for better results.
Review your sales strategy and data before your next call
Athletes regularly review game footage and opponent performance before their next game. Follow the same steps for your own sales efforts. Reevaluate how you prepare for each sales call, review the techniques you use during each conversation, and examine the strategies you use when following up with prospects.
Gauging your performance at every level gives you the data you need to make better choices during your next opportunity. The best sluggers spend hours in the batting cages so they can refine their technique.
Keep moving forward
Whether your sales process fails or succeeds, the temptation to slow down is always present. When your sales strategy flops, you want to give up because you feel discouraged. When sales are going well, you feel like you deserve a chance to rest. Regardless, you must keep moving forward.
“Still thinking about the MSP sales opportunities you missed on? Use the data collected from failed meetings to adjust your stance and optimize your performance for the next one.”- @BradStoller
Every baseball player knows his next at-bat could be a strikeout or a homerun, but he must step up to the plate to find out. Similarly, every sales call is a new opportunity for success. Although you may feel discouraged by missing a huge deal, don’t fall into the trap of negative thinking. Prospects can see and feel bad attitudes, so press forward with positivity for better results.
Find an accountability partner
When a baseball player struggles at the plate, he has an entire team and coaching staff waiting for him in the dugout. There, he receives feedback and suggestions on how to beat the pitcher. Build your own version of a dugout by finding an accountability partner.
Your accountability partner’s job is to ensure you continuously innovate in your sales process and hit your target sales calls, even on your worst days. Your sales coach or colleague could easily fill the role, but they must completely understand the project and its strategy so that they can ask for detailed updates.
Every salesperson fails
Instead of getting discouraged, remember the lessons taught by baseball’s Hall of Fame members. By constantly revisiting your sales strategy, you can make incremental improvements that make you a better, more consistent sales rep.
Failure is difficult to cope with, but you can make it easier to process by channeling the baseball greats. These baseball players repeatedly return to the plate each game, even after striking out against the same pitcher multiple times.
The best MSP sales pros take a similar approach: They approach each sales meeting determined to knock it out of the park, regardless of how the last sales appointment ended. By consistently returning to the plate and adjusting your technique for better performance, you set yourself up for the next homerun.
Photo: steven r. hendricks / Shutterstock