Ok, so you are often bombarded with lots of disparate and sometimes even conflicting advice about how to stand out as a salesperson in this buyer-empowered, digital-era. Perhaps even to the point where sales starts to seem almost unbearably complex. Well for a little respite I have compiled a short list of really simple and obvious ways you can differentiate yourself with customers and sales prospects. Remember sometimes in sales, it is the simple, fundamental things that make all the difference.
Be polite, businesslike and to the point. Check your spelling and grammar – use a tool like Grammarly to help you – unfortunately, today that alone might just help you stand out. Be careful with humor as it is very subjective and sometimes things can be read very differently than you intended – politeness, on the other hand, is pretty much universally welcomed.
2. Voicemail Messages:
Again polite and to the point – don’t leave a rambling message that starts with you talking about yourself and your company – that is one sure way of getting deleted before the message plays through. Quickly and succinctly deliver a compelling business reason why someone should call you back, pick up the phone when you call next or indeed read the follow-up email you are likely to send.
3. Phone Conversations:
Don’t become so overwhelmed that you got a live person that you launch into a monologue delivered in breathless hyperspeed. Be respectful of the person’s time, check that they are indeed the correct person to speak with and then ask some good discovery questions and above all LISTEN to the answers – resist the temptation of formulating what you are going to say next while the other person is still speaking.
4. Online Meetings:
Today so many more meetings are being conducted using Zoom, Go-To-Meeting and a host of other web conferencing tools. And often we are conducting these meetings from home offices or on the road and it is easy to get into the habit of never switching on your webcam (you all have one nowadays so no excuses) – it really helps to humanize you by showing the other person what you look like, if only for a few minutes (even if they don’t reciprocate). Do, however, resist the temptation to do the call in your favorite, old and worn t-shirt wearing your favorite old and worn baseball hat – make the effort to look presentable and to have a clean and uncluttered background (nobody wants to see your dirty dishes in the sink or your clothes strewn around the hotel room). This shows respect and willingness to engage.
5. In-Person Meetings:
Show up a few minutes early – yes I know this is obvious but we live in a world where the pervasive pop culture is trending towards the uber-casual and “traditional” things like punctuality are being touted as uncool – don’t fall for it. And turn up dressed well – you will never be marked down for being overdressed but you will, for sure, by being underdressed – again don’t let the influence of the uber-casual culture rob you of the chance to stand out as someone who has pride in their appearance and respect for those you are visiting.