Rethinking Sales: What You Can Do For People

Success in sales is multifaceted. While closing as many deals as possible drives many salespeople, this approach really misses the point of creating a mutually beneficial transaction. If, instead of selling to someone, you consider a sale to be something you do for someone, you can revolutionize your approach and watch your numbers grow.

Success in sales is multifaceted. While closing as many deals as possible drives many salespeople, this approach really misses the point of creating a mutually beneficial transaction. If, instead of selling to someone, you consider a sale to be something you do for someone, you can revolutionize your approach and watch your numbers grow.

Selling to Someone

You’ve got to make that sale. You haven’t met your monthly quota. Your potential bonus is floating there in front of you, but it’s dependent on this sale. This is an all-too-common scenario in our world. The sale really becomes about what you want or need to hit your goals. As a result, the sales process becomes a struggle with your potential customers. What concessions can you give? How can you guarantee they won’t back out? Stress, fear, and general mistrust really drive the sale, rather than genuine concern. In this environment, you can rarely take into consideration what the other person wants or needs, let alone what he can afford or what’s actually best for him.

Struggle. Push. Pull. Lose sleep. The reality of this approach is that your sales will remain stagnant. Most of the salespeople who employ these techniques are really in the bottom half, or even lower, in terms of success. Not only can it damage your integrity as a reliable salesperson, it also contradicts what the whole idea of sales should be about, anyway.

From the customer’s perspective, this approach creates doubt and mistrust. You are really communicating in several ways when you deal with a customer. You communicate through your words, gestures, and writing. If you’re intent on selling to someone, your words and printed materials may indicate that you have a quality product or service, but your gestures can send an entirely different message. Your subconscious is communicating the true message that you need this sale. An observant customer picks up on these signals quickly. That customer begins to feel uneasy with your approach and doubts your sincerity. Truth be told, he has a reason to harbor that doubt since you really are trying to fulfill your own desires with that sale.

Selling for Someone

In contrast, when you are selling for someone, you’re trying to help him solve a problem. You’re attempting to help him make his life better in some way. This perspective allows you to see that your customer is unsure about how to solve this problem on his own, and he is therefore enlisting your services. It’s your job to educate the customer as to why your product or service can assist in reaching a goal. The conversation focuses on customers’ objectives.

Your main goal is asking questions to clarify what these objectives are and how they’re most efficiently met. You are raising your client’s awareness of what he actually needs; you can help him fulfill that need in an intelligent and practical way. Once you help bring clarity to his thinking, the decision to buy from you becomes a natural part of the conversation. Hard sales or pushiness are no longer part of the equation, since that approach doesn’t help solve your customers’ problems. Focus on genuine questioning to allow your customer to really talk through his needs, as well as the resources required to address those needs. With this new mindset, your sales conversions and customer loyalty will peak.

Overcoming Your Obstacles

From an early age, people are taught that they need to go out and get things in life. You have to get good grades in school. You have to get a job, money, a car, or a house. “Getting” becomes an all-consuming drive. People infrequently take time to reflect on what they’re giving. The same mindset holds true for sales. How many sales do you need to hit your goal? How can you get a potential customer to become a converted sale? Changing your thinking is a process that begins with switching your “getting” to “giving” and “receiving.” The sale becomes the natural culmination of an in-depth conversation about goals and expectations.

If you are currently a team manager, start a conversation with your team in the same way you would start a conversation with a possible customer. Discussing the mutual goals of the team, and how individual efforts can help meet and enhance those goals, can be a revealing and constructive exercise. The key is to turn the focus away from achieving a certain number of sales to how your team members’ dedication to – and understanding of – customers’ requirements are paramount to continued success.

Approaching sales as being for someone opens up a new world of possibilities in how you develop relationships with your customers. By recognizing the programmed instinct to get things and overcoming that programming, you have the ability to guide your customers in solving their problems – and providing the best solution will lead to mutual success and future collaborations.

About the Author

David Neagle, The Million Dollar Income Acceleration Mentor and author of The Millions Within, teaches entrepreneurs and commission-based sales professionals how to quantum leap their current incomes past the 7-figure income level, often in less than 12 months. As a world-class speaker, sales trainer, and success-minded mentor to some of the globe’s top CEOs, David also privately mentors big decision-makers in their pursuit of quantum success and peace of mind.