Improve Sales Even If The Sale Isn’t Made

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Improve Sales Even If The Sale Isn’t Made

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Ever had a day when you went from one sales meeting to another, to another, to another?

When we get on a roll, it can seem like we’re running from one sales meeting to another. That used to look like driving from one part of town to another, trying not to break too many speed limits. Recently, it’s become the zoom meeting shuffle as we leave one virtual sales meeting to hop immediately onto another.

While that looks good on our activity reports, it actually hurts our sales goals.


If we’re focused on activity then we’re hoping that we remember not to repeat any mistakes and to make sure to ask great questions again. After a few sales meetings, those lessons get fuzzier and fuzzier.

When we sat down with Bill Butts, a sales leader with Outdoor Pride, he explained that driving more meetings doesn’t necessarily mean driving more sales. 

There’s actually a way to ensure every sales meeting gets us closer to making the sale, even if that sales meeting didn’t generate business today.  It’s a certainty that if we were stumped by a prospect’s question or came up short in negotiation, that situation will happen again.

There is a way to get more out of every one of our sales meetings and ensure that we’re getting better as salespeople.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: Bill advises that salespeople always add 30 minutes after each scheduled sales meeting, but not to check email or update social media. It’s this critical time after a meeting when questions will be fresh.

This can look like an additional appointment after a meeting on the salesperson’s calendar that isn’t used for driving or making  few more calls. Instead, it’s to download lessons learned.

R – Repeatable: Simply recording what happened during a sales meeting won’t produce any more than a transcript. To make this type of question-gathering repeatable, salespeople should have a few questions prepared that they can answer:
1. What could I as a salesperson have done or prepared ahead of that meeting, knowing what I know now?
2. What about that prospect or their company would have been helpful to know ahead of time, knowing what I know now?
3. What resources could my company have provided to me (both physical resources such as samples, pricing sheets) or trained me in, knowing what I know now?

I – Improvable: To make sure this after-meeting process gets better over time, Bill recommends salespeople not just review their own performance and questions, but also review their performance with clients.

A few weeks or months after a new client is onboarded, Bill says to make a point to ask them about their initial sales conversations. What could that salesperson have done/said, more/better/less that would have accelerated the buying decision or made the onboarding process more efficient?

M – Measurable: To make this type of process measurable, it’s imperative to not only track questions and challenges that come out of sales meetings. Sales leaders also have to ensure what comes out of those self-reviews creates new training sessions, scripts, resources, and internal systems. If salespeople raise their hands and ask for help – essentially what these questions do – then it’s incumbent upon their leaders to provide solutions.

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