We all know that debriefing after a sales call is essential. It is highly informative and educational to analyze the way the appointment unfolded, what went well, what didn't work and what can be done more effectively on the next call.
Another aspect of learning on the job as merchant level salesperson (MLS) is documentation. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, some of which are specifically geared for the payments business, can be useful in this regard, because they provide fields for notes about calls. Depending on how flexible your CRM tool is, and how much room it allows for your notes, you may also want to keep a journal, either digital or written.
Paul H. Green, industry pioneer and founder of The Green Sheet, endorsed this method. "Record what you do prior to the sales call: how you locate a prospect; what happens at the sales call; the time it took to accomplish each task; and the goals you achieved as well as the ones you need to work on," he wrote in Good Selling!SM:/sup> The Basics. "Include objections heard, closes used, results yielded, and your state of mind. Try to be as specific as possible."
Some people believe that journaling is only for people who have a love of writing, and feel they can't do it because they cannot measure up to what they perceive to be the requisite standards of grammar and style. Nothing could be further from the truth (even for professional writers). This type of journaling won't be graded on literary merit, grammar or punctuation—or even clarity as long as you can read your notes later and understand them.
Journaling is one small thing you can do for yourself that has the potential to provide big benefits.
In "Journaling and Sales?" published in May 2016 on the Sandler Training sales blog, business-development expert John Rosso pointed out that journaling can be of tremendous help when a sales manager asks how things are going and expects more than generalities in response. "Journaling means writing down your daily self-evaluations of your sales efforts," he wrote. "It takes about five minutes a day. If you journal, you'll have all the pertinent answers you need at your fingertips. Once you get started, you'll be glad you did. Guaranteed."
And if you manage a sales team, it can help you with staff development. "The most effective development plans are those used every day, especially daily journals," wrote Jenn Wagstaff in an April 2018 post on the Sales & Marketing Management blog. "The right journal will [help team members] create a personal development plan tailored to their development areas. And once they have the right plan, it will help them embed the right habits of success into their daily routine and help them progress towards their ultimate sales goal."
So, don't fret over what format you use or whether your journal would be a good read; just remember it will help improve your performance, as well as your profits.
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