We may not realize it, but we are all sales representatives in our own way.
We all represent things, people, and situations in our life where we “sell” our perspective or desire to someone.
My career has always intersected with the sales profession; and I found some sales people hard to handle to say the least. I found them opinionated, self absorbed, pushy, and sometimes – down right rude!
As I was coming up on 10 years in procurement, the Sales Manager asked me if I would be willing to help prepare his sales team on how to sell to someone in my position.
I laughed and said, “They could never sell to me; I would not even accept an appointment from them!”
Why? Because they do not give me any reason to see them let alone buy from them! That dialogue began a three year season of me training our sales team on selling vs. service.
“Selling” addresses a company’s product; “serving” addresses what the customer will be missing without their product.
Here are 3 keys that were developed during this training course:
Selling is a privilege. Selling is the privilege we get to do after we prove our company’s product to be irreplaceable by any other company with similar products. If you look for opportunities to be of service, you will get opportunities to sell. What are you doing for the current and potential customer that they would not want to do without; that is what they pay you for!
Service is the leader. Certain services are priceless and serve as a “lead ins” to help get your foot in the door and develop customer relationships to better sell your product. When I worked for a supply distributor, a free service we offered was to organize their stock rooms and setup an inventory control system. They loved the system, and that is what gave us the open door to talk about products we sold to improve their organization.
Standards are your support system. The business standards that you build are the walls that hold up the relationship between your customer and you. Example: You have a standard that says you offer 100% guarantee 24 hour delivery. If not delivered in 24 hours it is free. When you honor these standards, the customer base will respect your integrity. That trust builds up walls of commitment to your company that is needed when the competition tries to take the business from you. If they want it, they have a lot of work to do in order to break down that wall.
It is my desire to inspire you to serve before you sell. Service is the key to unlocking the doors of buildings, businesses, and opportunities!
Always remember the three S’s: Selling, Service, and Standards!