Don’t Forget to Dot Your “i”s and Cross Your “t”s!
The difference between a mediocre painting put together by an amateur and a masterpiece crafted by a true artist is not in the broad strokes, but in the smallest details. Even though this difference is small, it is meaningful; the work painted by a master will be respected and auctioned off for large sums of money, but the painting of the amateur won’t bring in a dime.
The same principle holds true in complex sales. The difference between excellence and mediocrity in the sales process is almost always a matter of attention to detail. It’s the little things that really count, and that will set you apart from your competitors. This is especially true when you are working on a competitive bid; you need to perform each tiny task with precision. Every little thing that you do will be used to measure the worth of your product.
Below are a few tips that you can use to improve your performance when it comes to those small but significant elements of the selling process. Paying attention to these tips will help you to develop a more effective overall sales plan. However, these tips are only the beginning. There is plenty of information about forming a proper sales strategy available online. If you are looking for a great place to start, try checking out our podcast at SalesRoundup.com. We have an ongoing series of sales oriented podcasts providing valuable information exclusively about the world of complex sales.
But for now, here are some pointers:
Always Send Follow Up Emails
After every meeting that you take part in with a client, make sure to send a follow up email. This is a small but significant gesture of good faith. More importantly, neglecting to do this could cost you dearly in a competitive market. If three or four companies are competing for a sale, the one whose sales representatives consistently follow up will be far more likely to win the deal. Send your follow up email out the same day, keeping it short but also friendly and informative. Thank your client quickly, and summarize what you talked with them about during the meeting.
Send Out a Thank You Card After Each Sale
Once again, this is a small but significant gesture. This adds a personal touch to your selling process and encourages your client to be loyal to you. You should keep high quality thank you cards on file at all times and hand write a note inside, each time that you send one out. Take this same concept to the next level by sending out birthday and holiday gifts to your clients. If you can, try to remember something about your clients’ personal tastes so that you can tailor make these gifts. The more specialized the gift, the more effective.
Always Deliver on Your Promises
Failing to do what you say you will do is one of the biggest blunders you can commit during a sales process, even if this is something as simple as failing to send out an email! For example: If you are in a meeting with a client who asks you a question that you don’t have an immediate answer for, you might promise to send the answer by email the next day. However, if you decide to make this promise, keep it! This may seem like a small matter, but your credibility is no better than your word. If you don’t keep even the smallest commitments, this will destroy your client’s trust in you.
Don’t Over Deliver Information
Information is always more valuable when it is specific and targeted. Never send your client more information than they need. You shouldn’t be sending them hundreds of pages of product information. They won’t have time to look at it, and will only resent you for giving them one more stack of paper to file away or put in the garbage. Giving good information to your clients is essential, but you don’t want to overdo it. Be mindful of which types of information will be useful to your client and which types will not, and always act accordingly.
This post was inspired by a podcast titled “It’s the little things that matter – Champs don’t beat themselves.”
Mike & Joe