Contrary to popular belief, it is usually small stuff that makes a difference in sales. In no particular order, here are 12 small things that can have a big impact on your sales results.
Show up on time.
Whether you have a face-to-face meeting or you’re making a follow-up call, make sure you show up when you’re supposed to. I gape in amazement when I hear salespeople lament that fact that a prospect didn’t wait for them when they, the salesperson, arrived for the meeting 15 minutes late!
Treat people with respect.
This includes the receptionist, gatekeeper, parking lot attendant and anyone else you interact with in your prospect’s company.
I learned this during my first career, which was in the hospitality industry. We had one simple rule: Develop and learn how to use a 1,000-watt smile. A warm genuine smile can help you instantly connect with other people and makes them feel good.
Add value with every contact.
This sounds like a simple concept but most sales people don’t add any value to the relationship. Look for ways to help your best prospects and customers improve their business and you will quickly stand out from the competition.
Say “thank you”.
I don’t care who you talk to, meet or interact with, saying “thank you” is a simple sign of respect. Thank a prospect for taking the time to meet with you. Thank a customer for providing a testimonial. Thank an employee for holding the elevator door for you. Look for the opportunity to thank other people.
If someone refers you to another company, at the very least you need to thank that person. However, I suggest that you take it a step further and recognize that person by sending them a small gift or referral fee.
Send “thank you” cards.
I have always believed in sending “thank you” cards to prospects, customers and people I meet at networking events. In fact, I try to send at least one “thank you” card every day. Let’s face it; very few people receive “thank you” cards so when a prospect gets yours, it will help you stand out.
I can’t count the number of times I have heard a salesperson say, “I’ll call you in a couple of weeks” only to never hear from that person again. On the reverse side, I have been surprised how many times a prospect says, “Thanks for following up.”
Don’t pitch your product until you know how to.
Far too many salespeople “show up and throw up”. Before you launch into your sales presentation, know exactly how your offering can help your prospect or customer and position it accordingly. In most cases, this means you will have to ask a few high-value questions first.
Ask permission to offer a solution. Ask permission to discuss your product. Ask permission for time to speak during a cold call. Ask permission to schedule the next appointment. Asking permission doesn’t mean you have to be submissive; it simply shows a sign of respect.
Rather than wait for your turn to talk, actually take the time to listen to your prospect and hear what they have to say.
Avoid the mistake of assuming that your prospect or customer knows the next step or what you want them to do. Ask for the sale. Ask for the appointment. Ask for the referral. Ask for the business. Always include a call to action or tell them what you want them to do.