Be a Professional!!!
Do you want others to see you as a professional? Then you must do professional things. Incorporate these principles into your business and enjoy the view from the top!
1. Promise a lot, deliver more and then some. Always exceed your customer’s expectations. Think of ways to go above and beyond. By consistently doing the extras you will always stay ahead of the game.
2. Return all phone calls the same day. I call this the sundown clause. It is a standard of service that is very important to me, and always noticed when given by others. When your clients know that you will be prompt with your follow-up and responses they may choose you over your competitors.
3. Answer all correspondence the same day whenever possible. Many times we will not have all the information but just a quick one line e-mail or note saying you are working on the solutions or a given proposal reassures your client of your level of professionalism and responsiveness.
4. Remember the names and personal information about your clients. Keep notes! Whether it be an automated data base, 3x5 cards or notes in your day timer, the more information you keep top of mind about your clients, the easier it is to develop a rapport. Plain and simple, people like to do business with people they like. This makes an easy entrée with follow-up calls whereby you can reference a trip, information about one’s children or other personal interest to develop rapport.
5. Dress for where you want to be, not for where you are. Always put your best foot forward. Always dress like a professional. Everyday is an interview day! Present yourself in the most professional light possible.
6. Educate your clients. Be an expert in your field. Research and share your findings. Be seen as an information source about your company and its competitors.
7. Send a marketing packet ahead of the first appointment. By doing so, your potential clients will have an opportunity to learn about you and your business prior to your first visit. It makes a great first impression and often saves time.
8. Make friends with secretaries. Those individuals that take care of appointment setting are very valuable allies in the game of selling. Keep personal information about them as well for your follow-up. If you make a friend with the secretary there’s a good chance you’ll be considered a friend to the owner of the company as well.
9. Send articles of interest (yours and others') to your clients. Be a source of good information. Add value to your clients and their business.
10. Develop a newsletter for your clients to inform, announce and advise. A newsletter is an outstanding way to stay top of mind with your clients and prospects. It can be a valuable resource in developing new business as it serves as an easy resource for clients to refer you as well.
11. Send a "thanks for considering us" letter even when you don't get the sale. This is a classy thing to do. No sale is the end all be all. Stay in contact and your opportunity may come at a later time. By sending such a letter you will be seen as a professional and increase your chances for consideration in the future.
12. When things go wrong during a presentation, lighten up. Many times competition, challenges, or just “plain life” gets in the way of a presentation. We’re all human, so lighten up and proceed with confidence.
13. Have quality handouts with high content. This may be your first impression so make certain your handouts are professional.
14. Be available to your customer before and after the sale. Availability is key! Make it easy for your client to do business with you.
15. Always send a hand written thank you letter following your appointments. It’s simply the right thing to do! It will make you stand out above other competitors.
16. Follow up with a phone call to your client 2 weeks after the any sale. (Follow-up separates the amateurs from the professionals). In taking the time to follow-up after the sale, it shows that you really care about their level of satisfaction not just making the sale for yourself.
17. Evaluate yourself after each presentation. Those that continue to practice get better and better. Evaluate your strengths after each presentation and look for ways to improve. Ask friends and colleagues for feedback. Strive to constantly improve.
18. Establish personal standards of service and proudly share them with your customers. When you hold yourself accountable to others and share those expectations it demonstrates your level of professionalism. Most customers choose value over price. What is the value in doing business with you?
19. Do what you say you'll do, when you say you'll do it. Always live up to your promises. If you promise something and fail to deliver your client will lose confidence in your abilities.
20. To have a good relationship with your clients, have a good relationship with yourself. Be confident. Be a professional!
Here’s wishing you great success in selling.