Top 10 rules for successful sales and business development

Thought Leadership presented by MicroTech.

1. Go to work and work when you work. Don’t take hours to get started when you get to work — be
ready the minute you get in the door. The thirty minutes or hour it takes to gear up is time you give the
competition to catch-up. Don’t take long lunch hours or spend time doing frivolous things when you could
be working. Eat with people who can help your cause, spend your break time productively, multitask —
squeeze every second out of your day. And most importantly, be excellent at what you do. Fine tune
your skills and practice your art, because good might not be good enough.

2. Be organized. Keep up with appointments and manage them as if your job depends on it
so you don’t have to use the words that are a killer in sales: “I forgot.” At the end of the day, list what you did and plan your work for the next day. At the beginning of the day review what you put down the day before,
ensure it’s still makes sense. The key here is, if you know where you’re going, you can get there.

3. Dress for success. If you are selling to the government, look nice but don’t over dress (no expensive
suits, dresses, shoes, jewelry or watches). The key is to dress like the people you are trying to connect
with. The right clothes can help make sales, but the wrong clothes can kill a sale and turn people off.

4. Listen. People can tell if you are not listening and every minute you’re talking, they are not. The more
you listen and connect with what they are saying the more likely a customer is going to do business with
you. Listening shows that you care. Use the doctor’s approach. You can’t diagnose the problems and
prescribe the cure if you don’t listen to the patient and understand where it hurts. Make sure you hear
what they are saying, understand what is important to them and that you comprehend the message they
are putting out. So many times fail to hear the message because we are trying to get them to hear ours.

5. Smile and be pleasant. A smile increases your face value, and wrapping that in courtesy is a gold
mine. If people would smile more, they would feel better and they would make their customers feel like
doing business with them. This is the golden rule: Smile, be courteous and treat people like you would
want to be treated.

6. Keep a positive attitude. Hang around with positive people; stay away from naysayers, and
crybabies. If something isn’t going right in your life and you need to share it be careful about sharing with
customers — why would a customer add to it by asking you to help them solve their issues? Keep in mind
that people do business with positive people because they are looking for positive results, not issues.

7. Return all phone calls and follow-up. Not returning calls and not following up is a way to lose
customers and relationships. Return calls as soon as possible, take time to reach out and work to be the
type of person you would want to do business with.

8. Tell the truth. Truth is the basis for trust and trust is critical in this business. If you are caught in a lie
once, your word will always be doubted. You can tell the truth the rest of your life, and no one will ever
believe you. Don’t over-commit. This may help you gain sales, but if you cannot deliver, the customer will think you can’t be trusted, and will not do business with you or your company ever again.

9. Stand in front of your product or services, not behind. Have you ever heard the saying “Good companies are hard to find”? Are good companies really hard to find, or are good companies that make us feel good about the work they do hard to find? The most important thing we can do is take care of our customers.
Customers must feel like they are your number-one priority, their needs are your needs, and if they feel that way they will do business with you over and over again, and those who get it will share their experience.

10. Learn from every sale. When people tell you why they do business with you, they are reinforcing
their trust in you. You learn what they like and don’t like, and if they like you, they will do business with
you forever. If they were looking for companies to do business with and they did not pick you, find out why —
what they did like about you, and what they liked better about the competition — and then fix what you can for future sales.

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