"Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things." That was written decades ago by Bruce Barton, an American author, advertising executive, and politician who served in the U.S. Congress from 1937 to 1940. But we know that's still true, maybe even more true, in business today. Little things mean everything. In a world of commoditization particularly, it’s the little things done consistently over time that can add up to the big sale.

I was reminded of the outsized impact of little things recently over breakfast with a long time friend and professional acquaintance by the name of Sam Richter.

You might have heard of Sam, particularly if you are in sales. The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals awarded the best-selling author its 2012 Sales Book of the Year Award for Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling.

Now in its ninth edition, the ground-breaking book is considered the “bible” on sales intelligence and using search engines like Google, other hidden websites not typically indexed by search engines, social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and even the public library for finding inside information on companies, industries and people and then using that information to dramatically improve sales performance.The organization cited the book’s innovative techniques for helping sales professionals find and use information to identify qualified leads, ensure relevancy in sales calls, and for Richter’s practical ideas on helping businesses build meaningful and value-based client relationships.

Sam himself would be the first to admit he is in many ways an unlikely person to have assumed any type of thought leadership position on sales. He came by the premise of his book as the executive director of a prominent business reference library, and never had a grand plan to be a noted speaker, author and trainer.Sam-Richter1-1

But that is exactly what he has become. And he doesn't do it by being loud and brash and sucking the oxygen out of a room. He isn't a Type A personality and doesn't try to "sell" you anything.

However, he does have really great ideas and insights and content and products, and he knows those are of value to a lot of people. And for those who don't recognize the value, well, he doesn't need their approval or affirmation and doesn't spend any time or effort thinking about them.

Sam is an exceedingly nice guy, you instantly like and trust him and feel like you know him, and he does lots of little things well.

"It’s the little things done by the salesperson and embedded into a company’s processes that generate long-term loyalty, oftentimes regardless of price."

"It’s the little things done by the salesperson and embedded into a company’s processes that generate long-term loyalty, oftentimes regardless of price," Sam says. "This concept holds true in sales, and also for account management and customer service."

Does that description apply to you? Do you focus on the little things? What are some little things you could be doing better to provide value and ensure relevance in your sales calls? What little things are you doing to turn your customers into loyal brand advocates?

Tags: Business, Taking the cold out of cold calling, Sam Richter, Brand advocates, Value-based selling