The Servant Salesman
Having been raised by a sales trainer who was an earlier adopter of the customer needs focus sales process, I continue to be amazed at the number of people who still refer to selling as “convincing someone to do something they don’t want to do.”
Just last night I was talking to someone who made the comment that he had to turn the “sales guy” off when he came home. When I asked him what he meant by that he said, “I have to stop trying to convince everyone.”
I could not imagine going to work every day thinking that I had to convince someone to buy something they were not interested in owning. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
Convincing someone is about what you want them to do. Wouldn’t it be easier if your client convinced themselves that they wanted your product? To be able to do that you will have to learn how to serve your client’s needs, not your own.
Name one person that would want a servant. Someone who would focus on their needs, jump when they called, and made the focus of every effort on them. Isn’t that what we love about vacations and going out to eat?
The greatest quality of a good servant is the ability to focus on someone other than himself; he focuses on the needs of others before he takes care of his needs. A servant may not become a best friend, but they are the first people called when there is a need!
Here are a few ways you can start becoming a servant salesman:
1. Listen to understand the needs of your clients: If you don’t understand your clients needs, it makes it difficult to close the deal. When you understand your clients needs you are able to modify your presentation to show how your particular widget can help meet some of them!
2. Be willing not to be a fit, right now: Part of understanding your customer includes the ability to know when you aren’t the right solution for them. If you try to make your widget fit this need when it really doesn’t you might win a small sale, but you will lose the ability to sell more of your widgets to him in the future; not to mention the friends he might have referred to you.
3. Become part of their problem solving team: I can’t tell you how many customers I gained three to twelve months later because I was willing to spend time with them helping them solve problems they were having. When they view you as a part of their problem solving team you will always get first crack at solving the problem with your widget.
4. Follow up with your client: I just gained a client today because their current provider wasn’t around to listen to them. Because they didn’t follow-up they didn’t understand the new needs of their client, they lost an opportunity to be a part of their problem solving team, and their customer found someone else that would! It is always easier to keep a current client than it is to find a new one; follow up- religiously!
Becoming the servant of your clients may not seem glamorous, but it does create satisfied customers and increase sales. So, I guess you have to ask yourself, “What are my goals? To sell more or to look more glamorous?” But that’s a different blog altogether.