A few days ago I was watching a television show about golf, and I was intrigued when I heard the host of the show suggest that golfers analyze their divots. He said they could learn a lot about the way they swing the club if they took the time to study their divots. (For you non-golfers, a divot is the chunk of grass that a golfer often tears up when taking a shot.) I immediately thought about how the comment relates to sales and selling.

When was the last time you analyzed a face-to-face or telephone sales call? Taking the time to analyze your performance should be part of your daily routine. After all, how we can expect to improve if we don’t regularly critique ourselves?

To improve your performance, ask yourself these three questions after each sales call, meeting or appointment:

What went well? I like to focus on the positive and believe it’s important to review what we did well on a particular call because it reinforces our strengths.

What did I miss or forget to do? I can’t think of a single sales call where I didn’t forget something. It may have been asking an important question, making a suggestion, asking for the next step or something else. Sometimes it was a minor item; other times it was important. The key is to review your sales calls and identify what could have been improved.

Here’s a slightly different perspective: I play softball two nights a week during the summer, and this year I have changed my stance to try to hit better. Because I have changed my stance, I inevitably forget something. So after each time at bat, I mentally review what I did well and what I forgot to do. Conducting this mental review helps me remember what I need to do the next time I get up to bat, which leads me to the third question…

What will I do different next time? It’s one thing to critique yourself, but you also need to have a plan of action for your next call. Asking yourself this question can help you change or modify your approach and improve your results.

Selling has changed. It has become more difficult—and more competitive. That means we need to regularly evaluate our performance and find ways to improve, even if it’s only a slight improvement. So, the next time you tear up a divot on the golf course, make it a reminder to analyze your sales call performance—as well as the divot.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at http://www.Fearless-Selling.ca.