“Bill, what is the secret to growing my sales?”
Or, “How do I differentiate myself from my competition when we’re all selling the same thing?”
Or, “What is the key to finding a good sales rep?”
I get questions like this a lot. It’s as if people think that there are magic beans that can be purchased. But oftentimes I find that the solution to these and other business challenges contain no magic whatsoever. It’s just common sense and sometimes common courtesy that drives the sale.
For example, I was working with a Selling Owner who specializes in wide format. He was telling me about a new customer and I asked some questions to learn the back story as to where the lead came from and why his shop was chosen over the other options.
“I asked those same questions!” the Selling Owner told me, “and the client surprised me by saying, ‘I called a bunch of vendors and you are the first one that followed up.’”
Certainly no secret to closing that sale!
Maybe someday I will write a book and call it, Everything I Needed to Know about Sales, I Learned in Kindergarten.
My point is this: Don’t overthink sales. It’s not about schmoozing. It’s more about being sincere. It’s not about being clever or trying to get people to like you. It’s more a matter of how quickly you return a phone call or turn around a quote. Or maybe it’s because you followed off after the sale to see how things went.
If you were fortunate enough, as I was, to be raised by kind and considerate people then you have a head start on your competition. If not, it’s not too late. Just live by the Golden Rule— Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—and you’re already halfway there.