How do you get ahead of your competition? You can outspend them. Or you can be smarter and set up simple, inexpensive processes to ensure you get the business. Here are five simple ideas for you to consider doing.

1. Presentation Matters. Heaps.

If you have goods for sale - revisit how you have them displayed or packaged. A little presentation ingenuity can do lots for your sales. For example think of the cafes you go to and how they present their cakes and sandwiches. This flows through to your proposals.

2. Thanks for your time


When someone gives you their valuable time - in an initial meeting, for an interview, why not give them a small thank you for their time? A small box of chocolates is usually great and will ensure you get remembered long after.

3. Eyes, ears wide open

Always keep alert for clues into your clients, prospects lives to help you build relationships. Is there a picture of a sailboat on the wall? Their kids in soccer gear? Did they tell you about a family member? Not only should you remember it - write it down in your database number one so it's not forgotten, and number two accessible to others.

Takeaway: It you had a client with a 10-year-old rugby player, and passing by a Paper Plus you see a child's book on sale about rugby - can you imagine the impact of sending that book with a note saying it's for the son?

4. Follow up

'Get back to us in six months time' the prospect says. Yet how few do actually make that call?

Takeaway: Systemise your follow up and build in automatic persistency. Use the Task, To-Do or Calendar function of your software to prompt you. By setting the prompt when asked - you can literally forget about it until your computer reminds you once again.

5. Never let go

Ensure you have a system and communication strategy to stay in touch. From your website, to your networking, to your incoming phone calls, do not waste the time, money and effort you spent finding new prospects to only let them go if they don't do business with you immediately.

Takeaway: Ensure every page of your website has a sign up to hear from you; your receptionist has a form to fill in then enter into the database; enrolments at every cash register. Make certain all staff are in, keen and even rewarded for the data collection.