Ask Yourself

Ask Yourself

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Your last ten sales will show you the eleventh.

Start with the initial history question and take it at least five steps deeper:
Keep in mind that each initial question breeds different “depth questions.”

Study your own history. Just go back to:
List your last ten leads. Then ask yourself: Where did the lead come from? Incoming lead? Networking lead? Cold call? What happened? Did I make the sale? Can I repeat that? What do I have to do? What’s my plan to do it? Is this my best source of leads? What’s the cost? What’s the reward? What’s the repercussion of not doing it?
List your last ten sales appointments. How did I make each of them? Where were they held? Which ones resulted in sales? How many total sales did I make? Which type resulted in a sale? How can I repeat my best ones?
List your last ten sales calls. How long was each sales call? What was the presentation like? Was there a decision maker present? Was price an issue? What were the objections? How did the sales presentation end? What could I have done differently? How long after the appointment did it take to make a decision? Why did they buy?
List your last ten sales. Where did each sale come from (what source). Category? How long was each presentation? How long did it take to complete the sale? What was the amount of each sale? Was I a previous friend? How good was the rapport? Did he hammer my price? How did I ask for the sale? What else could I have sold them?
Other sales questions could include: Did I have rapport before I started? How was my humor? How did I ask for the sale? How eager was the customer to buy? Did I get a referral? How was my follow up after the sale?
List your last ten repeat sales. Did they come in unsolicited or did you ask for them? Which order was bigger the initial order or the reorder? How happy was the customer after delivery? Are there other customers like them I could ask for business? Should I be contacting these customers more often? What else could I have sold them?
List your last ten referrals. How did I get each one? What actions (if any) did I take to earn a referral? What can I do to help this customer get more business? Did I get my customer a lead? Can I get him a referral to earn one for me? How am I staying in front of him each week? Does he get my ezine? Do I have an ezine? (go to and get a free sample of mine — sales caffeine — by clicking on the subscribe button) Who gave me the referral? Were they a repeat customer?
List your last ten lost sales. What really happened? What did the customer say was the cause? What did you do wrong? Did the customer lie? Did you lie? What value did you provide before the sale?
Your last ten calls for service help. What was the problem? How was the customer handled? How fast was it resolved? Did you call to follow up? What memorable occurred? What did you do to prevent it from happening again?
Your last ten customer complaints. What were they? How many resulted in lost customers? Who handled them? What happened good? Was it handled the BEST it could have been? What is the final “word of mouth” result? What’s the prevention plan for next time? Your last ten lost customers. Why did they leave? How much did it cost? What could you have done differently? What have you done to prevent this from reoccurring? Did you get a chance to “exit interview” the customer? Did you benchmark nay “best practices” as a result of the loss? Which ones? How much did the loss cost?
Your last ten testimonials. What did each one say about you? Did any of the testimonials cover an objection commonly posed by prospective customers (used to use someone else, thought their price was too high)? How compelling was the testimonial? How believable was the testimonial? Was there a call to action at the end of the testimonial? Can you get a testimonial from every customer you have?

NOTE: If you can’t figure out your own answers from this list of questions, you never will.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to

r 2006 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think of reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer 704/333-1112