When I was an undergraduate marketing student at Fairfield University, my English professor would remind us of this simple admonition: “Can’t spell, can’t sell.”
I didn’t appreciate the power of his words until a few years later when I became a salesperson. As a young account executive for a Fortune 500 technology firm, I was selling more than just the latest information technology. I was selling ideas, solutions, and my company’s (and my) reputation.
Few things did more to challenge my credibility with customers than incorrectly spelled names and words in a proposal or presentation.
These seemingly simple errors were perceived as evidence of indifference, insufficient preparation, or a lack of attention to detail. It was also a stretch to claim expertise about something if I couldn’t even spell its name correctly.
In an instant, spelling errors could potentially unravel small deals to strategic deals, months or years, in the making.
Today, many years later, spelling is critical in all aspects of business. From training, to customer service, to finance, to operations, you name it.
As it turned out, my professor was right. Good spelling leads to good selling.