By Failing to Plan, You Plan to Fail

Too often in sales,
potential deals do not go as planned,
resulting in misdirected blame.

“My competition was less expensive” or “it wasn’t the right time”,
and then there’s my personal favorite, “they were not serious buyers”, sales people will say.

The list of excuses often continues because it is easier to hold someone else accountable for our shortcomings. I know, I’ve been there myself.

Several years ago, in a totally different industry than preneed, I went into a potential client’s office feeling certain I was walking out with a signed contract. I remember that meeting vividly. I went into it completely under prepared and over confident. I talked more than I listened and I did not ask the right questions, or any for that matter. I simply proposed what I assumed they needed. Worst of all, I was ignorant as to what my competition could offer.

I left feeling defeated and told myself this was never going to happen to me again. That meeting taught me a valuable lesson. I now set a plan that includes gathering information, preparing a list of open ended questions and finding out if it’s a competitive situation. It’s also important to prepare a backup plan for any unexpected changes. This is what I’ve learned from the deal that has had the greatest impact on my sales profession. You can’t blame others for things you could have controlled yourself.

So the next time a potential sale ends in any way other than a signed contract, I challenge you to ask yourself, “What could I have done differently?”.

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One thought on “By Failing to Plan, You Plan to Fail

  1. This is valuable advise…Not always is it a point of experience but maturity. You must always be ready to examine not only the way you do business but your methods of preparation. Everyone must be aware that you have been in sales all of your life. How did you prepare to sell yourself to your friends…infuence the choice of activities (movie, minigolf,ect) What does your client want. What does your client need. Which one will influence the buy reflex more. In our line of work most of the time want and need may actually be closely related or even the same thing. What is it about my services that are different or better than the other guy. Capitolize on that. ie…NO one else provides pet protection inside of the preneed policy except SNL. This is a real big point when you wish to focus the client on COMPLETE family protection.

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