Email is so ubiquitous now that it’s hard to remember exactly when it first became popular. Yet I can vividly recall how I felt in those early days of “you’ve got mail.” It was such a big deal! And as email rose in prominence, “snail mail” seemed to vanish.
In the last five years or so, I’ve seen a shift towards people embracing letters and notes again. Receiving physical mail is something that makes people feel really special. Therefore, I’m declaring the days of simply sending an email “thank you” to be over! And I believe sending heartfelt, handwritten thank-you notes can help you grow your business.
If you’re like most people, you probably plan out your morning by doing backwards math. If you have to be to work at 8 am, you’ll figure that it takes you 15 minutes to drive,15 minutes to shower, 5 minutes to get dressed, and 10 minutes to eat and you tell yourself that you have to get up at 7:15 in order to get it all done.
What you’re doing when you do this, though, is giving yourself the very barest minimum of time. It’s ineffective, not to mention a horrible way to start your day. You’ll never achieve the level of success you’re after if you keep it up. But I’ve got a trick to fix it.
After college, I had zero intention of ever picking up a book again. Reading simply wasn’t something I enjoyed, and when I thought about how my life would be as an adult, I never pictured myself being one of those people.
So how is it that I went from swearing off books entirely to reading 50+ books every year for the past several years? Well, there are three things I get from reading that I can’t get from anything else.
I get asked regularly what the most important skill or attribute is for being a successful sales professional. Most people are expecting my answer to be something along the lines of “being a great closer.” Or perhaps “being the kind of person who can talk to anybody.” Or maybe “being someone who can have tough conversations.” Or even “having amazing negotiation skills.”
But the #1 thing I have found that all top producers possess is good listening skills.
This might come as a surprise to you, but you must realize that perfecting your listening skills goes beyond merely hearing what your customers are saying.
I was working with a coaching client who was reaching out to prospects in the hopes of becoming their preferred vendor. Unfortunately, when a prospect asked for more information, he’d send them a link to his website without further evaluating what specific questions they needed answered.
He sent 14 follow-up emails to all of these people that he’d sent his website to and was confused about why he couldn’t get in touch with any of them. But of course he wasn’t going to win their business—he wasn’t even beginning to address their objections.
We all make mistakes, right? But if you really want to excel as a salesperson, you’re going to have to learn how to solve your own problems.
Recently, one of my insurance industry coaching clients mistakenly submitted an application with some outdated information on it. After he shared the price quote with the prospect, he realized the out-of-date info made the quote much lower than it should have been. He was so dependent on his manager to resolve his mistakes that he almost lost the deal because he didn’t have the right tools to solve his own problems.
Not too long ago, my husband Shane and I were in a meeting with a business partner of mine. The partner was pitching me on the idea of joining him in starting a new division. He wrapped up his thoughts and said casually, “I need to run to the restroom. I’ll be right back.”
While he was gone, Shane and I talked things through. A few minutes later, he strolled back into the room and asked us, “So, what do you think? Do you want to go to Australia?”