With Mother’s Day this weekend (yes, if you forgot up until now, you still have time!), we thought it would be nice to post a little tribute to those valuable lessons Mom taught us that have carried over to make us successful business people.  Scott Gillespie wrote a great piece on Biznik outlining five great reasons every business person should stop and give an extra special thanks to their mother this Sunday!

Mom’s Top 5 Business Tips

Mom told us time after time several things while growing up. Little did we know that those lessons we learn would help us in business and sales! Here are 5 things we were told and how they apply today…

Growing up, we all picked up on little pearls of wisdom from our Mom that we later would use in sales and business. We didn’t know it at the time, and we may have even been annoyed with the sage advice we were receiving, but in the end (as usual!) Mom always knew best. So in honor of Mother’s Day, here are 5 tips for sales and business success we learned from Mom:

1 – Think before you speak. When Mom said this, it was usually because we flew off the handle and said something we didn’t mean or that didn’t make sense. In business, it helps us understand the needs of our customers and what they need from us.
Many salespeople use their gift of gab and go in touting their product or service’s features and benefits while dominating the conversation. Although they may make a sale, the customer may often feel like they were “sold.”
Mom’s advice teaches us consultative selling where you listen much more than you speak. You ask great questions that allow your customer to tell you exactly what you need to know to provide the solution that your customer needs. With this approach, your customer feels appreciated and knows that they invested in a solution, rather than sold a bill of goods.

2 – If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. (Aka: Bite your tongue!) In business, this means “don’t bad-mouth your competition.” Although this is a basic principle, it still happens and bears repeating.
For me, when I hear someone bad-mouthing the competition, first, I cringe. Then I think that they cannot stand on the merits of their product or service; that they have to diminish their competition to gain any kind of position. Looking deeper into this, when you hear someone bad-mouthing their competition, many times it can give the impression that the competition is actually better.
3 – Tuck your shirt in. Mom always wanted you looking your best. Even a motley looking crew could look presentable if they at least had their shirts tucked in!
In sales and business, we must always be ready to make a positive first impression, whether you are going to see a new customer or are welcoming new customers at your store. You also never know when you may bump into that key contact that you’ve been trying to reach and need to be ready to put your best foot forward. So, tuck that shirt in!!
4 – Always wear clean underwear. Would Mom’s really worry about your underwear if you were to ever get in an accident? I would hope that would have been about the 68th thing they’d think about if you were laid out in the hospital from being in an accident.
In the business world, Mom was preparing us to be just that – prepared. Far too many people “wing it” going into a sale or presentation. Not only be prepared with your product knowledge and presentation information and documents, but be prepared mentally as well. Your presentation may have been the 3rd one you’ve given that day, or the 15th one that week, but it is the very first one that your prospective client has ever heard from you. Deliver each with the same zeal and enthusiasm as the first one you did way back when you first started.
5 – The Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Whenever you acted up or acted out against someone, Mom would always remind us about the Golden Rule. For the most part, this rule would be a pretty good one to follow…except in business.
In the business world, I think a variation of the Golden Rule is more applicable. Redefined, it would read “Treat others the way they would want to be treated.” This can be done as easily as it is said. As long as you think before you speak, have something nice to say, keep your shirt tucked in and wear clean underwear, you will be in tune with your prospect and know what their expectations are and how they want to be treated.