By Miles Burke

Six Steps to Successful Selling

By Miles Burke

You’ve worked on your elevator pitch, you have a polished website, and a handful of happy clients. You know how to generate new business, but something seems to be holding you back. Here are six very simple ‘small thing’ tips that can often make you leap from average to excellent in your prospects eyes.

Have contact details on your website. You want people to get in touch, right? Don’t just have a contact form; include your email, phone an ideally physical address as well.

It’s not that I’ll just drop in to see you, but when viewing a website, a physical address and other details show that you’re real, and not a faceless someone hiding behind a domain name.


Answer the Phone. Yes, that phone call can be an interruption to the task at hand, and sure, an email may have been better, however the telephone is still a great communication tool.

Make sure you answer the call quickly, sound enthusiastic (even when you’re not) and take notes if required. When you are out, divert calls to your cell phone, or use an answering service.

Write great emails. You’ve met a new prospect, and now you are emailing to confirm a meeting, or send over some documents. Take time to write an email that is professional and polite.Be careful to ensure it is succinct and formatted – nobody likes a blob of words; use paragraph breaks as well.

Dress appropriately. Sure, working from home or in that funky office, yet when it comes to meeting clients, it’s always better to dress higher than lower. Those torn jeans and that old geek t-shirt may be great for that late night coding session, but clients won’t be as receptive.

Arrive early. When you do have meetings, get to the venue early. If you plan to arrive two minutes beforehand, and then find there is no available parking nearby, you’ll be late. Plan to arrive at least 5 minutes early, and show you are keen, not tardy in time keeping.

Write professional estimates. A one-page invoice or a hastily written badly worded quote creates an air of disinterest. Take your time and write an estimate that includes what you’ll do, how long it will take and what it would cost. Don’t forget to include terms and legal elements as well.

The above may all be fairly simple steps, and for many of us, common sense, yet these are a great reminder for everyone to always work at being on top of our game. Good luck!

  • Ryan Hickman

    First link goes to a 404.

    • Thanks, Ryan, you’re right. It’s not a simple broken link and we’re working to fix it now.

      • Nice article. I like Sitepoint’s new site. Keep up the good job!

        PS:Yeap, I got a 404, too.
        Error 404: Page Not Found
        Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the page you tried to view.

        It is possible that the link you followed to get here was invalid, or out of date.

  • Writing professional estimates and invoices are an area I am trying to improve on. Detailing what exactly is it the client will be getting right there on the estimate, timelines, downpayments etc.

  • Writing professional quotes is important, but I think it’s important to make sure the prospective client’s budget is in your ballpark before providing one, otherwise you’re sinking unnecessary time into something for no return.

    • I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CoolCent. com

  • This is great information. I also love the links you’ve scattered throughout the article. Gonna be taking some notes here for sure! Thanks.

Get the latest in Entrepreneur, once a week, for free.