Little things can make a big difference in your sales performance

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop

Ultimately, doing the little things will build a stronger relationship with your prospects and clients and will translate into more appointments, sales and referrals.

"It's the little details that are vital.
Little things make big things happen."
— John Wooden

Oftentimes, our smallest actions, words and gestures can lead to our greatest long-term rewards and outcomes. Our kindness, willingness to help, attention to detail, positive attitude, desire to offer a pleasant word, or our simple "please" and "thank you" responses will make all the difference in building strong personal relationships with our clients and prospects.

These little things help clients and prospects understand that we really do care about them and want the best for them. It doesn't take much, but doing these little things can be the difference between playing a good game and winning.

As a financial services professional, you will spend countless hours learning about the latest hot, new sales concept or product. You will attend training seminars, read the latest books and articles, and listen to audio programs to get "big ideas" that will help you gain the winning edge to sell more. While these big ideas may be helpful in getting you in front of some prospects and giving you the confidence you need to sell your product or service, we often forget that it's the little things that will make or break a sale.

You need to take a moment to step away from the big picture and focus on the little, yet important, things. These small details are generally not difficult; they just take a little extra time and demand a little extra effort.
What is important to remember is that in today's competitive world, your clients and prospects are watching every move you make. If you don't respond fast enough to a phone call because you didn't check your voice mail, then that's a strike against you. Late to a meeting with your clients? That's two strikes. Forget to proofread and spell check your proposal documents? Don't stay in touch with your clients and prospects? Don't really listen to your prospects and what they want? Assume you understand the clients' problems and what they want, without taking time to ask them? Forget to thank them for meeting with you and doing business with you? These are all detrimental strikes against your success as an advisor.

One of the mistakes that most advisors routinely make is jumping too soon into selling their product or service. They are providing a solution before they help the client or prospect to fully comprehend the problem(s) they are facing. They are giving their clients the impression that they are just a salesperson trying to make a sale, instead of an advisor who really cares about them and is there to help them. When you don't ask thoughtful questions to learn your clients' problems, concerns and desires, you're ignoring a small task — and doing so has big consequences.

If you can incorporate some of these small, thoughtful details with the bigger-picture selling you do so well, you're sure to improve your sales performance and, just as important, leave a very positive impression on your clients. Ultimately, doing the little things will build a stronger relationship with your prospects and clients and will translate into more appointments, sales and referrals.

“To be really great in the little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization”
— Harriet Beecher Stowe