Good habits become success factors when regularly applied to our sales effort.
The two in mind are punctuality and follow-up. They tie into one another to provide a winning combination. Be confident enough to not fall down on the follow-up.
Growing up, I was taught to always be on time. The early training made it embarrassing to be late as I grew older. Socially, however, it became fashionable to be somewhat late. I quickly recognized rules applied for the type of event being held.
Two Key Business Rules
For business, punctuality has always been necessary. On the occasion that an accident on the road slows you down or something unexpected occurs, the best action is quick action. I make it a habit to always call ahead to alert the other party I will be late. The secret ingredient is to ask for permission to push the meeting back a bit or to reschedule.
By asking permission, the request to proceed has always been accepted. The respect shown by alerting the other party ahead of time is similar to earning a gold star. It’s another element for building trust throughout the sales cycle.
Factor two that further builds trust is promised follow-up. Frequently, prospective clients make numerous requests of salespeople. Most will say, “no problem”, but will not follow through. By taking the time to provide the requested information in a timely manner, credibility is established.
At other times, prospects aren’t quite ready. The best action is to ask for their preferred date and time to check back, and then mark your calendar. Most lose their nerve. But, I instead, make the claim that I excel in follow-up. So I verify they actually want me to check back. Doing so validates the interest and upon connecting, moves the sales cycle one step further to making it a final sale.
Think back to a time when you arrived late to an appointment. And then consider these questions:
- What was the reception like when you finally arrived?
- Did you experience a normal length meeting?
- Were you invited back again?
Was the above scenario a one-time occurrence or does it happen more than you care to admit? Give serious thought to how your results may improve with improved timeliness or at least calling ahead to give forewarning.
Most people become fearful when it comes to follow-up. Consequently, the sale is lost because they never pick up the phone one more time. Is this a problem you need to address? Is it because you don’t know what to say if you were to call?
An excellent approach is to remind the other person they asked you to call. Ask if it’s still a good time to talk, and ask permission to proceed. This low-key approach is rarely turned down and serves to increase credibility along with sales.
Take the challenge: implement these two strategies and track the results. Whether for a job interview or a new client, your success rate will noticeably increase.
- Set an alarm for appointments.
- Allow extra time during rush hour.
- Check apps to see if there are accidents on the road.
- Alert people ahead of time if you will be late.
- Ask permission to keep the appointment.
- Upon arrival, thank the person for saving the time for you.
- After the meeting, send a written thank you note for their time.
- Complete all tasks requested by clients in a timely manner.
- Follow-up as clientele suggests.
- Enjoy the conversation as you earn the sale.
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