I have long believed…and taught, that the best way to succeed in sales is by helping your customers achieve their goals and objectives. My mind is pretty well made up on this point and I can’t imagine what anyone could say to change it.
But many have tried. Some of those who have tried tell me that sales is about separating a prospect from their money as quickly and efficiently as possible. That is most definitely NOT what professional selling is about.
Others have told me that sales is about making a lot of money. That is not true either even though making a lot of money is one of the two primary reasons many people go into sales. The fact is, making a lot of money is what happens when you help a lot of people achieve their goals and objectives.
Sales is ALL about helping customers. I suppose I should add a qualifier to that…PROFESSIONAL SALES is all about helping customers. Product peddlers pride themselves on being able to “unload” any product on anyone and they will use any trick to do it. They will do most anything for a buck. They give professional salespeople a bad name.
Professional salespeople have only one trick up their sleeve and it’s really no trick at all. It’s called asking effective questions. So effective that sometimes it helps a customer understand that there is a solution to a problem that they didn’t know existed.
If those professional salespeople discover that their product or service does not help a prospect they won’t attempt to turn that prospect into a customer by selling them something they won’t benefit from.
If you’re wondering how close you are to helping your customers ask yourself a question first. That question is this: what are the goals and objectives of my top ten prospects or current customers?
I start with the top ten because if you don’t know those then it’s most unlikely you will know others.
If you can’t answer that question it’s likely because you’ve never directly asked your prospects what their goals and objectives are. If that’s the case you have the ability to correct that situation immediately…just ask.
Your prospects and customers may not have an immediate answer for you. It’s a question that may catch them off guard. That’s because so few salespeople straight up ask. You can actually change the perception of a prospect by asking, and that change will most definitely be in the right direction.
So, are you helping your customers? You’ll find it very difficult to help anyone achieve their goals if you don’t even know what they are. So find out. Just ask, it’s the only trick you’ll ever need.