Welcome back to the real world! Labor Day has come and gone. The kids are back in school. Summer is over. I’m in my JetBlue office heading back to the Left Coast office.
Just FYI, between now and the end of the year you have two primary tasks.
1. Finish the year strong.
2. Prepare for Q1 to get your year off to a strong start.
Summer can be a little slow. It’s easy to get lulled into a little bit of complacency.
Think about a first call with a potential prospect.
What you do in that sales interaction with the buyer will have an impact on everything you do that follows.
So, the question for you is whether the impact of that first call is positive or negative.
If you do something that has a negative impact on the prospect, then the ripple effect from that puts you at a competitive disadvantage going forward.
Something as simple as how you greet a prospect on the first call can put you at a competitive disadvantage that you’ll never recover from.
This is not an issue for just first calls. A negative ripple effect can emanate from any sales touch at any stage of your sales process.
It’s mostly about you.
Because once another person forms a perception of you, it is extremely hard to change it.
In my book Amp Up Your Sales, I wrote about research into the science of perceptions.
Scientists have found that perceptions are very sticky. And, that once people have formed their perception of another person, even if that perception is based on demonstrably false information, they will be reluctant to change their minds.
Obviously, this works in either direction.
We’ve all known sellers who manage to ingratiate themselves into the buyer’s favor on the first call but are otherwise empty suits. And they sometimes manage to hang on and win deals. But that’s rare.
How do you avoid creating negative perceptions?
Be thoughtful and conscious about the words you use and the actions you take at all times.
Prepare for every sales interaction as if it were the most meaningful event of your career. This means you have to bring your “A game” to each and every sales touch; no matter how small or large (whether it’s an email, phone call, video call or voice mail.)
Be human. The odds of creating a negative perception in the mind of the buyer multiply exponentially if you robotically sell on auto-pilot.