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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 10, 2018 • Issue 18:12:01


Turn mishaps into learning experiences

In addition to preparing for the holiday season as 2018 draws to a close, many of us are also reflecting on our results for the past year. We ask whether we met our goals. If so, we want to know what to replicate for even better results in 2019. If we didn't do as well as expected, we want to get to the heart of the real problems and remedy them.

All of us make mistakes along the way. Part of succeeding and innovating is to learn from those mistakes. It's an ongoing process.

In Good Selling!SM: The Basics, Paul H. Green, founder of The Green Sheet Inc., wrote that while we all make mistakes, repeating them, or failing to learn their lessons, "will lead you nowhere." He suggested careful examination of the causes so you can "improve your overall approach and keep repeat errors to a minimum."

Diligent analysis, corrective action

He then offered five steps to turn mishaps into learning experiences, as follows:

  1. Research the mistake diligently. The root of a mistake or lost sale may not be what appears most obvious. Uncover every factor that contributed to the problem. The obvious cause may be hiding other factors that need to be addressed.
  2. If you lost the sale because you sold the wrong service/platform, get an update on the service offerings your company now has in place.
  3. Many sales mistakes can be eliminated by annually attending your equipment, check or bankcard provider training. Consider calling to register for the next training seminar.
  4. Analyze your standard sales approach. Look at your routines. Is there a recurring pattern of problems or mistakes? The correction and elimination of mistakes may require a minor (or perhaps major) alteration to your standard sales approach. Perhaps the promises you are making at the time of sale are unrealistic. For instance, promising to have a new POS system up and running on a date that team is unlikely to be able to meet only leads to disappointment on the merchant's side and stress on yours.
  5. Verifying your own equipment inventory or calling your bank service provider before your sales presentation will allow you to confirm which program features and rates are applicable.

Listen and learn

Green also advised applying what you learn about one type of mistake to other areas of your business, if applicable. "If your mistake is the result of poor listening skills, practice listening without interrupting during all of your conversations," he wrote. "Poor listening skills can adversely affect your life and business in all areas." The remedy? Spend more time listening than talking to reduce errors and misunderstandings.

Another pointer from Green is to examine any deviations from your standard sales approach. "Routines are an essential business strategy both to reduce mistakes and to improve efficiency," he wrote. "Once you've established your routines and sales approach, vary from them only when absolutely necessary."

Of course, being an entrepreneur is a creative endeavor. Flexibility is required to meet the demands of today's payments biz. We just need to keep in mind that it's what we learn along the way that determines the degree of our success. end of article

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

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