7 months ago
February 21, 2017

How to Recover From a Bad Sales Call

What should you do to recover from bad sales calls?

Rhys Metler

Bad sales calls can have effects far beyond what they should, if you don’t take the proper measures to recover. They can poison the prospect and kill a potential sale, poison the rest of your day and kill multiple sales, even leak into how you interact with coworkers and damage your team morale–costing who knows how many sales (realistically, it won’t, unless people get into bad moods over bad calls on a regular basis, but we’re talking worst-case scenarios here). So what should you do to recover from bad sales calls? We’ll discuss it in two parts: Recovering your mood and recovering the sale.  

Recovering Your Mood

Go Do Something Else. After bad sales calls, before you do anything else, you need to return yourself to a neutral state. What that entails will depend on what you do for breaks. Do you need to play a game of solitaire, go on a snack run or look at some funny cat pictures online? Whatever it takes to get your head out of the game for just a moment, away from good sales calls and bad sales calls and anything else work related, go do that. When you’re back to neutral, it’s time for phase 2. 

Advance Another Sale. When you put your mind back to sales, it needs to be thoughts of success, not the failure of your bad sales calls–not yet. That means taking steps to advance another sale. Again, how much work you need to do to feel good will depend on your personal mental state. Maybe just sorting some leads will be enough. Maybe you need to cleanse your palate with a good sales call. Whatever it takes, get yourself in the mindset of ‘sales success’. You need that mindset when you start delving back into the depths of bad sales calls.

Recovering the Sale

Consider What Went Wrong. Once your mood’s good, you can objectively consider what made bad sales calls go awry. If you’re already relying upon a structured process and collecting data, finding what went wrong should be easy. If you’re not, this might be a good wake-up call–figuring out the flaws in your bad sales calls will be exponentially more difficult if you’re ‘winging it’ on a regular basis. Either way, sit down and try to puzzle out the problem areas in your approach, what turned a good sales call into a bad sales call. Once you know the problem, you’re ready to figure out a solution. 

Do Your Research. Investigate the prospect and look for anything that can give you an in on future calls, anything that might help you counter the damage dealt by your bad sales call. Be aware of the prospect as a person and in terms of their relationship with you; wherever you failed with your previous call, there will be a route to recovery hidden somewhere in the facts of the situation. You’ll also regain confidence in doing research–you’ll be taking steps towards closing the sale without any of the fear associated with bad sales calls getting in your way. Once you’ve an inkling of how to proceed, the weight of any bad sales calls should melt away and leave you ready to sell again.

Stay Bold. Never lose confidence in yourself or your product. Bad sales calls are inevitable, no matter how good you are, no matter how good the product. You won’t sell well if you can’t keep your mood up, and you definitely won’t recover from a damaged customer relationship if you let your doubts seep through, let yourself become a doormat, spend all your time apologizing. You need to be aggressive and bold, even if on the inside you’re cringing at the memory of your last encounter.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.