The devil’s in the details when selling

Selling your products or services is hard work, so why make it difficult by missing out the little things? Getting it right first time means you will achieve that sale quicker, leaving you to crack on and sell more – and probably make more profit.

Let me give you three examples of what I mean by the little things:

I regularly accompany sales people as part of their training and personal development. On one occasion, I went with a sales person to their first meeting with a big prospect. The meeting went well. The sales person didn’t ask all the right questions, but the prospect made it easy for them by volunteering all the information they needed such as who they should meet to discuss bidding for a regular contract.

Great stuff you might think, so what was the little thing the sales person got wrong?

Well as we crossed the car park to leave, I asked the sales person what the name of the decision maker was whom the prospect had suggested they should contact. All I got back was a blank look and “Sorry, I can’t remember”.

The little thing the sales person had overlooked was to write down the name of the decision maker. They had not opened their presenter once with the pen uncapped and the note pad was as empty as it had been the day it arrived from the stationers.

Making notes is probably the best way to make sure you don’t miss the little things. Simply ask if it is all right to get your notepad out, and if it is use it.

Perhaps the only time it might not be a good idea to take notes during a business meeting is when the conversation is either personal or highly confidential.

Another little thing that sales people often fail to do is check documentation for spelling or grammatical errors before sending to a client.

Relying on your computer’s automatic spell check could easily make you appear very unprofessional. For important documents, engaging the services of a professional copywriter could make the difference between the client placing the order, or going elsewhere.

My third little thing that sales people should never overlook is being honest with a client.

For me honesty within the sales process is simply about doing what you say you are going to do. It really isn’t that hard to overlook being honest. If you can’t actually deliver what the client is asking for then don’t lie, just say what you can do.

If you, the sales person, overlook being honest, I can guarantee the client will not overlook the fact you didn’t keep your promise.

There are many little things that sales people overlook, but for me these three are probably the most common. Make notes, check your work before presenting it to a client, and be honest about what you can or can’t do.

The devil is always in the detail when selling, so get the little things right and increase your chances of success.