Everything you do Earns a sale (earns a conversation, a returned email, another phone call, a visit to the showroom, a positive online review), or Burns a sale (they never want to hear from you again, they tell 10 friends about their terrible experience with your company, they tell 10 million people on the internet about their terrible experience with your company.)
They way you answer the phone, how quickly you return an email, the content of your tweets, the signs you hang in your store, your Facebook posts, your profile on LinkedIn, etc., etc., etc. All these things can Earn or Burn the sale for you before you ever even have a chance to speak to a prospect about your product or service.
Earning Compound Interest
I remember the first time I learned about Compound Interest in a math class in middle school or high school. I was fascinated by the fact that if I started saving money in an interest-bearing account today anybody who started saving the same amount tomorrow could never catch up to me because my total would increase faster based on the interest being paid on the growing total dollars in my account — being fed by the interest itself. Sales works this way, too.
Caring or Kerosene
With each interaction you have an opportunity to grow the prospect’s interest in you and your company. You also have the opportunity to completely and totally blow-up all of your previous efforts and goodwill and watch any potential shot at working together go up in flames. Each time you create a customer-facing “thing” (emails, tweets, profiles, Instagram photos, signs at your desk or hanging in your store window, table tents on your counter, bumper stickers on your car… everything) remember that you are either showing how much you care about how you represent yourself and your business in order to demonstrate that you and the prospect are a likely business match — or you are striking a match and putting flame to any chance at doing business together in the future.
I’ve run into people who think they can post whatever they like in their personal social media feeds (especially Facebook) — and they can. But it doesn’t mean they should. Social Media is a public gathering place, and while you’re personal friends are there — so are people you want to do business with.
You can pick your nose in your car while you’re waiting at a stoplight.
It’s your car. You can do almost whatever you like inside it. But you’re on a public street sharing the road with other people riding around in their own cars. Pedestrians may also be about, waiting to cross the street or walking past you on the sidewalk. And you’ve got those great big windows all around your vehicle giving everyone a peek inside to see what you’re doing in the “privacy” of your personal vehicle.
Think of your social media presence just like your car. It’s your car, but with windows which allow the world to see inside.
Even the appearance of impropriety can do everlasting damage.
Seinfeld fans know what I mean…