When I first started to learn how to sell, my boss would finish each sales briefing with “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten!” At first I used to smile and say “oh isn’t that a great quote and so true” after a couple of weeks I asked him why it was the last thing he would say to me before I left to go out on sales calls. His response was a simple one “because your sales results are not improving”.
I was astounded, the reality of the words in the quote sunk in quicker than the Titanic going down. I came to the sudden realisation that my sales process was the same each time I went out and therefore I got the same results. At the time I accepted the results because that seemed to be the average for the sales team. What was worse was that I had convinced myself that that was the best I was ever going to get at sales. I had filled my head with “good sales people are born” – all beliefs that were not true! It wasn’t until those words from the “nice” quote resonated with my awareness of what I was doing that significant change started to occur.
Feeling vulnerable and a lot afraid I went back to my boss and asked what I could do to do things differently and change the results I was achieving. He had a simple suggestion “ask yourself what works and what doesn’t and change what doesn’t!”
I looked at him in disbelief and said “it can’t be that simple, there must be a sales formula and certain questions to ask and phrases to use?” What he said next was even more astounding to me “Only you will know what questions to ask and what phrases to use once you stop doing what is not currently working for you”
At that moment I decided I had nothing to lose, so after each sales call I would do a an analysis of the sales call using his suggestion of examining what worked, what didn’t and change what wasn’t working.
I designed a simple sheet with the three questions on it.
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- How can I improve?
At the end of each sales call I would sit in my car and answer those three questions. At the next sales call I would change what wasn’t working in the previous call and try new things until I found the ones that did. That one process increased my sales closing rate from fifty percent to ninety five percent in a staggering two weeks!
The results were so significant my boss promoted me to National Sales and Marketing Manager. In the first few weeks I had many challenges managing people and knowing how to bring the best out in the people that were reporting to me.
In a rather difficult meeting with one of my staff I remembered the sales mantra “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten!” So I used a different approach with the person and ended up with a different result. I then adapted the analysis process to managing staff and started to get much better results, I was less stressed the staff were producing great results.
Today I use it as a mantra to teach other people how to improve their businesses, more importantly I when I teach or facilitate sales learning’s my number one activity is to introduce the simple formula. What Worked? What Didn’t? How can I Improve? I carry a small card around with me as a reminder with the quote “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten!”
I have since applied the theory to other areas of my life and when I find I’m not getting the results I want, I think of those great words “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten!” I’ve applied it to my health and fitness, my relationships, my business and my outlook on life. And I continually get good results when I stop and let the words sink in with how things are. If you have things in your life that you are unhappy with I suggest you think of these words:
If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten!