Finding Your Slight Edge

Monday, March 28 2016

The Slight Edge may not take huge effort or time, but it can have a big impact on your results.

I learned the value of the slight edge early in my sales career. I was selling diagnostic reagents to hospitals and private labs for a company that happened to be foreign owned. A new competitor came to the market and my biggest account chose to give them an opportunity because they were 100% Canadian owned and operated. Through no fault of my own, I lost 80 percent of my business overnight. It was tough because I was on commission.

I decided to continue to call on this account each month, and provided them with the best information and service I could offer. After one year the competition closed. As soon as I heard I changed my plan for the day and, with my sales manager in tow, called on the account I had lost. When the Chief Tech came into the room he immediately turned to me and said, “The business is yours. You were the only person from all the competition who continued to call on me every month.”

That was my Slight Edge. I had called on that hospital monthly. It hadn’t taken a lot of time or effort but it made a big difference. It showed I cared.

Think about all the small things you can do that might make a difference to the results you achieve. It could be as small as:

  1. Saying thank you.
  2. Providing specific feedback to a team member.
  3. Spending 10 minutes preparing to communicate on an issue.
  4. Ensuring expectations are clearly set and understood.
  5. Reading an email to check that the tone is appropriate tone before you send it.
  6. Finding out the facts before jumping to a conclusion.
  7. Asking “what the three things am I grateful for today?”

Consider what is important to you and what will support your success. If the efficiency of your team is key then determine what small thing might help them feel valued. If your family is important how can you make more time for them during your busy work schedule? Whatever you want to achieve, use the concept of the Slight Edge to your advantage, and it will make a difference in your life as well as the lives of those with whom you interact.