Seth Godin was kind enough to provide us with our topic for today. Thanks Seth!
He writes about the death of the “sales call” as we know it.
“I think a sales call is a meeting (in person or on the phone) when a salesperson endeavors to sell something to a prospect, and where the prospect is doing the salesperson some sort of service by being there.”
Instead he talks about the “buying call.”
This is where a buyer meets with a salesperson to gather enough information so he can make the best buying decision.
Or, as Seth describes it:
“My factory needs to be more efficient. I want to buy a solution. I call a salesperson.”
Two things came to mind when I read this this post.
First, it points out the true value of professional salespeople. It tells us why (if they’re doing their job right) we will always need salespeople.
Second, it tells us what our real job is when we’re trying to attract new customers:
Help them make the best buying decision as it relates to our business.
Let’s say they decide (with our help) to become a customer. Yay! We get a new customer who is a good fit for what we do best. Which means we’ll be able to serve them at a high level. Their wants and needs fit what we do best. It’s a match made in heaven.
But, what if they decide (again, with our help) to NOT become our customer.
Then we’ve failed, right?
We’ve still accomplished our goal.
Because we’ve helped them make the best decision as it relates to our business.
If what we do best is not a good fit for them, why would we want them as a customer? So, we can deliver lousy service? No thanks!
You’re better off helping them say “no” if it’s not the right fit. Because then, you are truly serving them. You are putting their interests first as you advise them.
When you do that they can trust you. You’re showing them it’s okay to trust you. This makes a good relationship possible. And you can build a profitable business on good relationships.
Maybe they don’t become a customer right away. But maybe in the future their needs fit what you can do for them. Or, maybe that buyer changes jobs and brings your business card with. Or, maybe he tells one of colleagues (at a different company) that they should buy from you.
Just because someone does not buy from you does not mean you can’t have a valuable relationship with them.
And, when you help them in a way that shows they can trust you, then you lay the foundation for a strong relationship that could last many, many years.
Even if they never buy from you.
And it all starts with helping them make the best buying decision. Make that your goal and you’ll create more customers than ever before.