Want to know how a prospective hire – or any of the reps on your team – are going to perform in the future? You don’t need a crystal ball. You only need to ask one question: “Tell me about the last sale you lost. What happened?”
Steve Gaffney, president of the Steven Gaffney Company, and Colleen Francis, president of Engage Selling Solutions, often use this question to evaluate talent on a sales team. What they’ve found is that reps who make excuses – “It was shipping’s fault” – are destined for failure, while reps who take ownership of the loss – “I should have qualified the lead better” – are destined for greatness. “Our accuracy at determining successful versus unsuccessful reps is 95 percent with this one question,” say Gaffney and Francis.
Sure, bad things happen, and they happen to even the best reps and managers. But how a person responds to and deals with these events plays a major role in whether or not that person is successful. Here’s the best news: You can train yourself to be a person who takes responsibility and ownership for your actions by doing three exercises every day. Gaffney and Francis outline the exercises in their book, Honesty Sells: How to Make More Money and Increase Business Profits. Here’s a look at each one:
Taking ownership of your behavior and assumptions – or helping your reps learn to take ownership of theirs – can certainly be tough. But if you can master it, you’ll have an unshakable foundation for long-term success.