The most important tool in sales
I’ve got a confession to make. I like mowing. Yep, mowing the lawn. Maybe it’s the fact that I think it’s grown up that we even have a lawn to mow; maybe it’s the fact that it gets me outdoors and I get to zone out for a bit, or maybe it’s because no one can talk to me over the noise of the lawnmower. It’s nice to be unreachable for a bit.
On the weekend I mowed our backyard, then our front lawn and then ‘the bit’ (technical term) out the front, by the street. Just as I was finishing up, I had a thought to do our neighbour’s ‘front bit’ too. It was really overgrown and probably hadn’t been touched in months. So over I went (in the 37 degree heat, pregnant belly and all) and mowed their lawn. I just did it to help out – I don’t know that neighbour but I did know her husband (before he moved out and left her) so I suppose I felt a bit sorry for the family too. While I was mowing her kids stuck her head over the fence to say hi.
Tonight I saw my neighbour, and she didn’t say thanks.
Now, that’s cool. I didn’t do it to be thanked, in the same way as when you refer business to someone, you don’t do it to be thanked. But, positive encouragement and gratitude can go such a long way. People are more likely to repeat their behaviour if you really show your thanks. So, next time my neighbour’s lawn looks unkempt, am I now likely to rush for my lawnmower?
Just before Christmas last year a friend of mine set up a lunch with a potential partner (for Business Chicks). She also made the effort to be at the lunch and she was spot on with her prediction – we hit it off with the partner and we’re now working together. Who was the first person I rang when my sales and marketing director got the news? It was the lady who had set the meeting up. We then followed up with a card and flowers. Point is, she didn’t have to make the intro, nor set up the lunch, but she did and we so appreciated it.
Considering myself somewhat of a networker, I’m constantly referring business to different suppliers and companies. I get a kick out of it, and again, I don’t do it for the thanks, but it’s nice to be acknowledged if deals come off that I’ve initiated. Just recently I introduced a contact to a company and they ended up winning a big tender from it (that they didn’t even know about before I’d mentioned it) but I heard nothing from that contact afterwards. Will I be likely to go out of my way again for that company? Hmm, no, not out of my way.
There lies the most important tool you can pick up in sales. No, it’s not a lawnmower, it’s just the simple art of saying thanks. It need not be a bunch of flowers or a card, but just a phone call with a genuine thank you can go a long way.
How have you thanked others that have helped you get ahead?