When it comes to selling, you want to have everything possible going in your favor. Obviously proposals, presentations, product knowledge, follow-up, and other “major” items are important, but at the same time, you want to have the little things going for you too. Every little bit helps. While some of these items are more important than others, they can all impact your sales.

8 Sales Tips for Making a Successful First Impression

1) Arrive on time – This one is fairly self explanatory. On the rare occasion that you’re going to be late, call ahead and let the prospect know.

2) Be prepared – Make sure you’ve done all your homework ahead of time and know about who you are meeting with along with something about his business. Make sure you have everything you need for the call and that everything you present is clean, complete, correct, and presentable.

3) Treat all the people you meet with respect – Be nice to everyone at the facility. Smile, say hello and goodbye to all the people you encounter.

4) Your appearance – Often clothes, hair, shoes, etc., are the first thing people will notice about you. Dress the part of the professional salesperson. Watch for wrinkles, spots, dirt, etc. in clothing. Try to get a look in the mirror at least every couple of hours to check your hair, teeth, clothing, etc. Your overall objective is: to look clean, crisp, fresh, and professional.

Make sure your breath is decent and always carry around some mints. Also, when possible, avoid coffee, alcohol, and dairy products during the day. Try to save garlic for the weekends.

5) Your Handshake – Your handshake gives a definite impression to other people. A firm, but non-bone crushing handshake is the objective. Your hand should be warm and dry. If you have sweaty hands, hold the palm side of your hand on your clothing before shaking someone’s hand. This is much more subtle than wiping your hand on your clothing.

When you approach to shake hands, look at the other person’s hand briefly. Aim the crux of your thumb and index finger at the same spot on the other person’s hand. Once the crux of your fingers hits theirs, grab hold and shake firmly. Look the person in the eye and smile while shaking hands.

6) Show interest – Focus on the prospect and how you can help. Lean in a bit, and listen intently to what the prospect is saying. You want to show the prospect that you are extremely interested in what she has to say and that you are paying very close attention. The question you want running through your mind is: How can I help this person?

7) Be positive – Be upbeat and energetic, smile.

8) Some Things to watch for at the Customer’s Facility – Your approach to a sales call begins in the prospect’s parking lot. When you get out of your car, you never know who can see you from which window or who is in the parking lot with you. You must act as if you have a TV camera and open microphone focused on you at all times.

Do not park up front in the “prime” parking spots. These are reserved for customers and sometimes upper-level management, not salespeople.

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