What do gum disease, heart disease and sales excellence have in common?
It all started a few days ago while sitting in the dentist chair for my routine check-up. I grind my teeth like crazy so my dentist wants me in his office as often as possible. Why do I grind my teeth? I have no idea. Maybe it’s my personality, stress level, kids’, business… who knows. However, what I do know is that I am the perfect client for my dentist. I am in need; I offer consistent cash flow and a steady reoccurring revenue stream. What makes me an even better client for my dentist is that I cannot stop subconsciously grinding my teeth.
As I sat in the dental chair awaiting the results of my exam I was drawn to an article posted on the wall about the relationship between gum disease and heart attacks. The article established that good dental care will dramatically reduce the risk of heart attacks. If going to the dentist could essentially save your life then why have I dreaded these past 30 minutes of my dental exam for the last week. I suddenly realized that something so arbitrary, such as a routine dental appointment can be so important to the overall outcome of your life.
The most powerful weapon to fight gum disease and reduce heart attacks is two dollars and on the counter next to my sink. My toothbrush has the power to save my life. Brushing your teeth for a couple of minutes in the morning and evening will reduce your chance of getting heart disease. I then realized how true this is and how relevant it is to sales.
In my career I have found that what separates average sales producers from top sales producers are the small subtleties. It is the small nuances that make them excellent and these tiny differences make a tremendous impact throughout their entire career. The top producers are the minority. This small population of sales people stays the extra minutes at the end of the day to organize for the next day. They always make one extra call and are never amazed when that call ends in a sale. They understand how changing their tone can make or break a deal. They understand body language and notice small changes while interacting socially. They recognize the importance of remembering a person’s name* and listen and look for the smallest buying signs.
* A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People
My point is that you could have ten sales professionals working side by side saying the same thing, but two out of the ten are excellent because they understand that it is not what they are saying that makes them great it is how they are saying it. Just like the simple act of brushing your teeth can prolong your life, the small subtitles are often what people notice and remember. In the end, the sales people that are closing deals, building relationships, and the #1 sales person are paying attention to the small subtleties.