Are you Selling or Serving?
t’s a really important question to ask yourself – are you selling, or serving?
And most people won’t do it because they don’t want to come across as ‘salesy.’ In fact if I asked you for your business card right now I probably wouldn’t see the word ‘sales,’ ‘salesperson,’ etc.
I’d probably see something pretty similar but without the sales. I don’t blame you at all – sales has such a sleezy, cheezy way of coming across. Unfortunately the bad reputation has been ingrained in our society by con-artists and lemon-selling car salesmen.
When I ask you if you are ‘serving’ I don’t necessarily mean a service-based product. I mean are you actually providing help in their decision-making. Are you serving their needs, such as providing answers to questions and listening attentively, or are you just bombarding them with “THE BEST DEAL EVER.”
For example I went to a furniture store once. The first time I went I got jumped on within 20 seconds of entering the shop.
‘Wew’ I told myself ‘These people are keen jellybeans’ – selling to me was their number one priority.
I didn’t have time to look around so I told them that and they politely went away. Then they proceeded to take 5 steps then came right back. ‘We have a 30% sale at the moment’
Nothing wrong with that. It probably what they were trained to do.
But the second time I went there there was a second sales person. They took a while for me to enter the store and I was hovering around a sofa I liked.
‘Welcome, do you like that sofa – I can show you some others you may like.’ I knew what I wanted but I was still curious.
They took me around, gave me time to digest the options – and they got the sale. While I did choose the original sofa I had also bought the footstool they suggested.
She wasn’t just a salesperson. She was a pseudo-tour guide, offering me solutions (like the footstool) and other options without trying to force a sale. It is important to remember that these days too many people are trying to push their own products. To hold back a little, provide guidance and let them clear their own thoughts is actually against the norm.
So whenever you try to force a sale too quickly remember – are you selling or serving the customer.