The Sales Advantage

By Steve VerBurg

The Sales Advantage

Sales: The Oscars Best and Worst

It’s that time of year again, when movie stars come out of hiding and the world gives them glowing praise and brutally honest critiques. Even though the Oscars are supposed to be about top awards for the best film, actor, actress, etc., it also focuses on the best and worst dressed the stars’ dates, and who said and did what. Just like celebrities, sales people are constantly under the microscope, so it’s important to be aware of how the world is judging you.

Typically, you are judged in four different areas: how you look, how you act, how you speak, and how you perform. These four areas can determine if your prospects will consider you worthy of winning their business.
Here is how to make a good impression and set yourself up to win more business.

How you look – Find out the culture of your prospects organization. Dress so they can relate to you. In other words, if they are bankers, you would probably dress in a suite. If they are surf board manufacturers, wearing that same suit would not be appropriate.

How you act – Make sure you are professional at all times. This does not only mean from the time you walk into their business to the time you leave. It means ALL of the time. Many sales people don’t consider that prospects are Googling them to find out more. If you have pictures that show inappropriate things or videos using inappropriate language, you may not win their business.

How you speak – Demonstrate you understand their business by using language they understand. Talk in their business context and speak professionally. Resist the temptation to talk down about your competitors or other vendors simply because your prospect may not like them. If you chime in with degrading remarks, they may see you unfavorably.

How you perform – Always under-promise and over-deliver. One way to lose business fast is to disappoint your prospects and customers. Make sure you follow through on everything you say you will do, including meetings, timelines and deliverables. Try to always give them better than what you promised and exceed their expectations.

When you perform in these four areas, your customers’ vote will result in you winning the top award – their business.

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