The Last Ten Sales Will Show You the Eleventh.

The Last Ten Sales Will Show You the Eleventh.

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

Capture and repeat your success habits. Easy concept. So easy it’s never used.

Salespeople (you included) continue to fight the same battles sale after sale:

  • price too high
  • can’t get an appointment
  • satisfied with present supplier
  • taking three bids
  • can’t reach decision maker, blah, blah, blah.

I have an idea for you. Study history. No, not American history. You don’t care who Franklin Pearce’s vice president was do you?

Study your own history. Just go back to:

  • Your last ten leads.
  • Your last ten appointments.
  • Your last ten sales calls.
  • Your last ten sales.
  • Your last ten repeat sales.
  • Your last ten referrals.
  • Your last ten lost sales.
  • Your last ten calls for service help.
  • Your last ten customer complaints.
  • Your last ten lost customers.
  • Your last ten testimonials.

That’s enough history to predict the future. Actually it’s enough history to ALTER the future. Your future. That’s enough information to cure all your ills and double your sales.

OK, maybe you need to do the list with twenty-five of each, but that sounds like work. And salespeople aren’t willing to do the hard work it takes to make sales easy. Ten sounds like a more workable number. Start there.

And when you ask yourself the question. Ask deeper questions and LIST the answers. The reason for the list is to spot the trend and figure out how to eliminate the mistakes, conserve time and money, prevent the problems from re-occurring, and focus your energy on what has been successful. Wow!

Why haven’t you done this before? Probably the same reason I haven’t written about it for ten years. It’s so obvious I overlooked it.

We’re going to do it in our business this week.

Start with the initial history question and take it at least five steps deeper:

List your last ten leads. Then ask yourself:

  • Where did the lead come from?
  • 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?

Get it? By simply asking yourself these real-world, obvious questions, you come up with relevant answers to help you win the next sale. Here’s another example.

Keep in mind that each initial question breeds different “depth questions.”

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?

Other 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?

I think you get the idea. Have a team? Get each sales person to do this and your information will be staggering.

One more example:

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?

Well, that’s the strategy. And even though I didn’t list each question, I think you can take it from here.

This concept has certainly opened my eyes to the probability of making future sales by studying sales your history. It’s a strategy you can implement. And one you make more sales from.

You’ve heard the expression “history repeats itself. Well, so does sales history. All you have to do to repeat the victories is study how you won before – and eliminate how you lost.

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