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Prospects and customers are watching every move you make.

What is important to remember is in today’s competitive world your prospects and customers are watching every move you make. Imagine how mispronouncing or forgetting a client’s name can change that person’s perception of you.

Salespeople and sales leaders seem to be on constant lookout for big ideas that will give them the winning edge.

Perhaps you are one of them, combing the latest books, webinars, blogs, podcasts, and social media in search of the silver bullet that will get you into a prospect’s door, help you nail your presentation, or win a hard-to-close deal.

While you are chasing the next big thing there is something you must never forget: The brutal reality is the little things, more often than not, make or break the deal (and your sales career).

Here are 21 little things to consider:

  1. Do you prospect daily?
  2. When you call prospects on a cell phone, do you have clear reception?
  3. Are you articulating your sales story clearly so it can be understood?
  4. Does your voice inflection or body language demonstrate confidence and enthusiasm?
  5. Do you look, act, and sound like a professional?
  6. Do you listen?
  7. Are you proofreading your written communication thoroughly?
  8. Are you spelling/saying your prospect’s name correctly?
  9. Do you arrive on time for meetings?
  10. Do you thank your prospect for their time?
  11. Are you setting the agenda on every call?
  12. Do you set the next step on every call?
  13. Are you researching your prospect and planning for your call?
  14. Do you take good notes?
  15. Are you following up to keep your deals moving forward?
  16. Do you keep your promises?
  17. Do you send follow up notes to say thank you?
  18. Are you polite and kind to gatekeepers?
  19. Are you managing your territory to avoid windshield time?
  20. Do you keep your CRM updated?
  21. Do you start your day early and work a full day?

The Smallest Things Make the Biggest Difference

What is important to remember is in today’s competitive world your prospects and customers are watching every move you make.

Don’t respond fast enough to a phone call because you didn’t check your voicemail – strike against you.

Greeted the receptionist politely – check in your favor.

Late to your meeting again . . . two strikes.

Remember the names of your prospect’s kids . . . check.

Always give a little more than you have to . . . two checks. Forgot to proofread and spell check your proposal documents . . . strike!

Imagine how mispronouncing or forgetting a client’s name can change that person’s perception of you.

No matter how great your sales presentation was or how extensive your product knowledge, when you make this misstep, with what to that person is the sweetest sounding word in the English language, you lose all credibility.

Commit to Excellence

On the other hand, just think how your client may perceive a simple thank you note or birthday card. That will leave a positive impression.

It begins with developing a commitment to excellence. When we let the little things slip it is because we let down our guard and allow our discipline to wane.

Top Sales Professionals realize that, in sales, the game almost always comes right down to the buzzer and they maintain their self-discipline and commitment to excellence until the game has been won.

Lack of organization is a key contributor to small mistakes. If you are not organized stop what you are doing and find a system that works. Then implement that system.

Take time each week to reorganize and remove clutter from your office, computer, CRM, pipeline, and calendar. Review your calendar and to-do list each evening before you go to bed so that you are prepared to focus on your top priorities the next morning.

In sales, the little things count more than the big things and sales professionals who have the self-discipline to effectively manage the little things are more successful, better respected, and out-earn their peers.


With the right tools and techniques, any salesperson can sell more and better, all the time. Learn what it takes to engage buyers and close more deals, and advance your sales career in our on-demand course, Five Dimensions of Sales Excellence, on Sales Gravy University!

About the author

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount is one of the most sought-after and transformative speakers in the world…

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