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What Do Your Exit Polls Say? Six Steps to Sell More Now! By Tim Wackel

The last several months have been very interesting if you’re a political enthusiast. I’ve watched candidates travel across the country, shaking hands, kissing babies and spending millions of dollars trying to win their party’s nomination.

There is an abundance of talking heads analyzing every move that the candidates make. Most of it has become information overload to me, but I’m very intrigued with the concept of the exit polls. These quick and painless interviews are used to collect data and find out why people voted as they did.

So how can you use exit polls to help sell more?

Unfortunately there are many sales people who believe the selling process ends as soon as the ink on the contract is dry. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why work countless hours to win the business and then disengage once the order is received? This is your opportunity to shine!

Follow up is a key to sales success, and implementing your own exit poll should be just one tactic in your overall methodology.

Not sure how to leverage an exit poll? Here are the six steps you need to start today. I’m not going to share some theory that I’ve created. I’m sharing the same methodology that I use myself. I can’t guarantee that it will work for you, but I can guarantee that it works!

#1. Do it now! – Don’t wait to get your customer’s feedback. You want to hear from them while the selling experience is still fresh in their minds. Ask for their opinions sooner, not later.

#2. Set the stage. – It’s important to demonstrate value in your exit poll. Treat this as an important process, you’ll get better feedback from the customer.

Send an invitation asking the customer to participate in a short interview specifically designed to help you learn how to serve (not SELL!) them better. Tell them their feedback is important and that honest communication is a valuable part of any successful relationship.

#3. Use a third party. – Let the customer know that someone else from your organization will conduct this brief interview. Please don’t conduct the interview yourself. When you get involved in exit polls, one of two things happen: you either won’t get the truth or you won’t hear the truth.

Don’t have the in-house resources to conduct these interviews? Then contract with someone to do them for you. I’ve had great success using a virtual assistant and you can find plenty of them via the internet. Find someone you like, trust and believe you can develop a relationship with. Sure it costs a few bucks and you may even have to pay out of your own pocket. Trust me, you will be glad you did.

#4. Be prepared! – If you want this process to work, you need to diligently prepare the questions that you want explored. Script these carefully and be sure that the interviewer is comfortable in asking for clarifications, examples and explanations.

I like to ask whether or not I met my client’s expectations. What, if anything, made me different from other sales trainers they’ve used? How else could I help drive results forward? What changes do they expect to see and how will those impact the bottom line? And the most important question that most sales people don’t ask; why did you buy from me?

You’re probably only going to get one shot at getting this data—make it a good one!

#5. Leverage the learning. – Treat the exit poll as your opportunity to get ahead of the competition. I’m amazed at how often clients tell us that they’ve never experienced this type of follow up after a sale. This alone sets you apart from the rest of the pack!

Very few sales people take the initiative to discover the real reasons why customers buy from them. Everyone has theories, and most of these revolve around how great they are as a sales rep. But is that the whole truth?

Once you begin to understand the real reasons why they buy, you can fine tune your entire approach. And that is when the magic begins to happen!

If your poll discovers an extremely satisfied customer, have your interviewer circle back in a few days. Revisit the highlights of the exit poll conversation and ask permission to use their words or invite them to become a referral account.

If your poll discovers a dissatisfied customer, you’ve created the perfect opportunity to swoop in and fix it!

#6. Always say “thank you.” – A hand written thank you note after completing the exit poll is personal, powerful and professional. Those are three words everyone would like to have on their resumes and a great way to leave the door open for future opportunities.

To sell more every year, you need to get better every year. I hope these ideas will help take you to the next level.

Speaking of Sales is about finding, winning and keeping customers for life.

Until then,

Tim Wackel is one of today’s most popular business speakers who has mastered the ability to make information entertaining, memorable and easy to understand. He combines more than 20 years of successful sales leadership with specific client research to deliver high-impact programs that go beyond today’s best practices. Tim’s keynotes and workshops are insightful, engaging and focused on providing real world success strategies that audiences can (and will!) implement right away. Tim Wackel, President and Founder of The Wackel Group, 214.369.7722, www.timwackel.com, tim@thewackelgroup.com

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