“What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ear, and I’ll sing you a song and I’ll try not to sing out of key. Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends” — Words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney – Sung by The Beatles.
- Rely on friendships, remember they are earned. Surround yourself with the best people to help accomplish your goals. Nurture them with support and honesty.
- Keep your word. In our very competitive business environment your word is your bond. It is better to say I can’t commit to that request, than to say it will be done and then for whatever reason the promise never materializes. Under promise and over deliver.
- Be organized and prioritize. Write down or plug into your iPhone this must be done today. When possible do it now. Don’t put important objectives on the back burner as they will soon be replaced by other priorities.
- Don’t “bad-mouth” the competition. No matter how few people might hear a negative comment, it will often surface and cause embarrassment. Remember one day the person on the receiving end of your negative energy could become an important customer, a colleague or your boss!
- Follow up, follow up, follow up. Always outline what has been discussed and agreed upon. Reinforce the positive and state your desired goals. Nod in agreement and ask if there are any issues or important points requiring clarification.
- Ask for the order and a suitable delivery date. Be sure the quantities are precise, never over sell and confirm price. It is much better to get a reorder after the initial sale, than to oversell.
- Network. All your satisfied customers and reward them with small tokens of appreciation.
- Always say please and thank you. Close all correspondence with “I appreciate your confidence in my professional expertise.”
If you follow these simple recommendations, your success rate will skyrocket.
Michael A. Venezia is the Corporate Director of Education for United Distributors, Inc. and Adjunct Professor of Hospitality Administration in the Cecil B. Day School at Georgia State University.