Yeah, I know… sounds kind of wrong, doesn’t it? But let me finish that statement. Your job is not to sell… it’s to help buyers buy.
This philosophy is based on the premise that ‘people don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.’ Think about your last car buying experience. There’s nothing that feels quite as good as driving off the dealer’s lot in a beautiful, brand new car. But leading up to it, you dreaded going to the dealership because of the pushy salespeople. You didn’t want to experience that sort of pressure or be forced into buying something that wasn’t quite right.
Now think about your role as a sales rep or a seller-doer. If you make a sale, that’s good for you… you win. But maybe it’s not what’s best for the client. However, if you help the client make a good buying decision, that’s a win-win.
And to help them, you need to take the time to learn about their business, to understand their problems and to help them solve those problems.
Recently, I bought a new laptop at a local Best Buy store. The young man who was helping me was friendly and knowledgeable. In addition to me telling him what I was looking for, he also asked me some questions about how I would be using the computer (for work, games, while traveling, etc.). Based on that, we came up with a short list of options. From there, he was honest with me regarding each computer’s capability, reliability, advantages, disadvantages and fit for my needs. It was a really good buying experience… I felt that he had my best interest at heart.
So, the next time you’re talking with a potential buyer, don’t focus on what you want to sell them, instead, focus on what they need to buy. And then, show them how your products and services are the right fit. Like my Best Buy visit, not only will your client get exactly what they need, they’ll come to appreciate the whole buying experience with you and will look forward to it happening again (and again).
If you agree with this philosophy, you will be tested. I promise. There will come a time when what’s best for the buyer is better provided by another firm – not yours. The question is, will you recommend that they use the other supplier because they’ll do a better job? (Hint: you should, for this reason… It will provide you with a level of credibility that nothing else can. The client will trust you completely from that point forward… and that trust will lead to many more sales opportunities.)
Bottom line: If you do what’s best for the buyer, you can’t go wrong.