If we can’t be passionate about helping others, how can we be passionate about sales?
In my book, A Mind for Sales I write about this factor a lot, as I’m a firm believer it is the cornerstone of sales.
Sales is not about what we sell, sales is about helping the customer see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible.
Far too much time is spent by salespeople on product knowledge and far too little time spent on customer knowledge.
Think about when you started your new sales job. I imagine the company spent far more time walking you through all of the details of the products or services than on how to sell. No wonder salespeople are product-centric, since from day one that’s where the focus has been.
Our customers don’t care what we’re selling. What they’re looking for are solutions to their challenges. The problem is we don’t spend enough time with our customers to understand their challenge at a deeper level.
In my first book I write about a car buying experience my wife had. The salesperson only had one thing in mind: telling her about the 4-wheel drive and how the SUV would never get stuck. The salesperson couldn’t stop talking about the size of the engine and its acceleration. None of this mattered to my wife, the only things she cared about was great heated seats and an awesome sound system. Everything else was noise and ultimately a distraction.
via ABC Network on GIPHY
The salesperson lost the sale for one simple reason. He was caught up in the product and never took the time to listen to my wife. If he had listened, he would have closed the sale quickly. The sale broke down for one simple reason: the salesperson failed to care and was not interested in asking questions or understanding the customer.
Sales does not have to be as hard as it’s made out to be IF we’re passionate about the customer.
A few days ago I found myself on the phone with a company looking to hire me to speak at their sales kickoff meeting. They shared the date, the city, how long they wanted me to speak, how many people would be attending and then they asked what my fee was.
How could I give them a fee when I don’t know the outcome they’re looking for? How could I know if I was even the right fit for them?
What the company shared with me was just facts, they didn’t share the reason why. The missing ingredient was the need for a conversation, so I began asking questions to get them to share more. If I had failed to engage them in a meaningful conversation, I would have been doing both them and me a disservice.
via The Sales Hunter on GIPHY
This is what makes sales great, it’s not a product or service being sold or bought, it’s conversation to understand the best solution. When we’re passionate about the customer they can see it, feel it, and hear it quickly in how we interact with them.
This quickly became apparent to the company I was talking to. It didn’t take long after they had done their list dump and I began engaging in conversation for them to realize I had their interest placed ahead of mine. Passion is huge in sales, it’s far more powerful than we realize.
When we have passion, the conversations change. There’s an important shift from the salesperson doing all the talking to the customer doing most of the talking.
There’s a big reason why I say sales is not a job, it’s not even a profession but rather a lifestyle. When we are passionate about helping people it comes across in everything we do 24/7. It’s not like we turn it on to sell and then turn it off. Being passionate is part of our DNA.
Read more tips for How to Quit Closing Sales and Start Opening Relationships.
Recently I was having lunch with another salesperson who, like me, sees sales as a lifestyle. Our conversation was incredibly engaging, so much so our waitperson even joined in. Think about that for a moment, the waitperson in a busy restaurant at noon suddenly stopping to engage with us. Sure we can all say the reason was simple; they were working for their tip— but it shows something else. When you’re engaging, it brings out the best in others, changes how they see things, and what they say. Being passionate about serving others is contagious.
Ok, you’re wondering if we left a bigger tip, of course we did. Now, here’s where the difference becomes huge: I don’t remember a thing about our lunch conversation, I doubt the person I was eating with or the waitperson does either. We forget the words spoken very quickly, but we don’t forget how the other person makes us feel.
Being passionate with others you meet will change dramatically how they feel about you after the conversation is over.
I hope if you have not already you’ll pick up a copy of A Mind For Sales for one reason: reading it will change the way you look at sales. You’ll never look at another customer the same as you did before.
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Copyright 2023, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.