I had this incredible boss. Incredibly smart and incredibly polarizing. Man, she was talented. She could speak well, she knew the industry. Yet, everything I did was wrong.
It wasn’t my first rodeo either. I was hired for a senior level role, I assumed because I could take initiative and get the job done.
Yet, every turn I took was wrong. Every proposal I made was thwarted.
The worst was when I decided that I needed to visit my existing accounts and face-to-face learn more about them. I had been there a couple of months and wanted to understand their current challenges, why they chose us, and what we could be doing better. To me, it was all very logical and foundational so I could serve and help them and future clients as well.
Without a “real purpose” for the visit, I wasn’t allowed to meet the client’s face-to-face. So I figured that my verbal proposal was lacking, so I redrafted the idea and wrote a written agenda with goals and outcomes and emailed it to my boss.
My reasons were “not valid”. I wanted to sell. I wanted to help. I cared about the client but felt I couldn’t do my job without truly knowing the client.
Later I found out that the reason I was denied was because they wanted me spending my time with serious problem accounts and new accounts and not “successful” ones.
After quickly moving on to greener pastures I learned that of the 4 major accounts that I wanted to visit, 3 had left within 24 months of me finding a new place to grow.
I know for certain that just a little bit of care would have gone a long way and those accounts would not have left if they had felt that anyone actually cared about them and then took the proper action.
When you don’t care, it shows.
When you care about the wrong thing it also shows.
Everyone person needs encouragement. Every person needs to embrace change. So does every business. The real key to unlocking any type of growth is through caring. This is especially true in all sales relationships.
Care is a deep concern for someone. Care is the strong desire for a positive result, for a favorable outcome for someone else. Honestly caring about the people who use and buy what you sell is the foundation to success in sales.
Success in growing sales is more than just about closing more deals. It is about providing real solutions to real problems. It’s about showing that you care about the needs and interests of your prospects and customers. When you truly caring about people, your sales will increase.
The very best sales professionals view and carry themselves as consultants. They are a resource for their future partners. They become mentors, advisors, and coaches. The best sales professionals are emotionally involved because they care. They are invested emotionally in their client’s success as they know their product or service will solve a major problem. They create true separation from their competitors by being more concerned with helping rather than with selling. Their customer knows the sales professional cares more about them and their situation than they care about making a sale.
When you care enough, you sell.
If you care enough, you will always sell well.
When you care enough about others you will learn about them, you will be curious.
When you care enough about others you will gain the necessary skills to be helpful and effective.
You need to prove you care, every day.
“…caring is action-oriented; it is felt by your actions and your behaviors… Sales is about creating positive outcomes for others. In order to create these positive outcomes for others, the salesperson has to have both the desire and the ability to do so.” – Anthony Iannarino
This means you provide value with every interaction. Each and every contact must give them some type of benefit, something they can use. Once you have the desire you can work to gain the skills. A true salesperson who wants to help others has the ability to guide productive conversations. Others can always tell how much you care. They can tell whether you are genuine or fake. Do not fake that you care, just actually care. Do not say it, show it.
These are 3 ways to show it:
Show it by listening.
“The key to connecting and winning others over is, therefore, extremely simple: make them feel important. The real secret to making others feel important is something you have at your disposal right now. It’s listening.” – Jeb Blount
Once you listen well enough, you can deliver what they actually need and want. Then make it easy. Make it easy to buy from you, make it easy to implement. You can only make it easy if you listen well first. Of course, you must be an expert, you must know the company, industry, and relevant situations. When you seek to understand, you are working to understand them, you are curious about finding their “why” on a deeper level.
Show it by explaining the real impact.
“It turns out effectively leveraging insight requires the same skills as effectively asking great questions.” – David Brock
If you can’t explain the value you bring, then they probably can’t either. Most successful purchases require financial justification, if you can help them understand the true value better, you are helping them do their job and they will appreciate you for it. Great salespeople provide insights. Great salespeople ask great questions. The best combine both.
Show it by living the “Platinum Rule”.
“The Golden Rule, as great as it is, has limitations since all people and all situations are different. When you follow the Platinum Rule, however, you can be sure you’re actually doing what the other person wants done and assure yourself of a better outcome.”- Dave Kerpen
The “Platinum Rule” is the new, better version of the “Golden Rule”, instead of treating others how YOU want to be treated, treat others the way THEY want to be treated. You must get to know them, you must be curious, and you must apply empathy in order to figure that out. Then once you figure it out, take action.
Showing you care, helping others feel important, and sharing value is the best way to build better sales relationships.
In the end, when you care, you build trust.
With trust, anything is possible. When your client trust you, they will listen to you, they will depend on you, they will spend time with you. When trust is present, everything gets better, faster. The buying process is shortened. The implementation time is shortened. The potential impact and reach of the solution will increase.
Trust is built on the foundation of caring for someone else and the outcomes they could achieve.
Customers and partners don’t leave when there is trust in place.
In order to be great stop caring about yourself, stop caring about the wrong things and start caring about your clients and their outcomes.
Once you care, show it.
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