This is one of the biggest “aha moments” I ever had when learning to be salesperson, which I got from a fantastic book called: Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play by Mahan Khalsa.
“In sales, you and the customer want the very same thing: the Exact Right Solution.”
Let me unpack this for you…
If you are talking to a potential customer, than they have already given you a buying signal; they are giving you some of their time, which means there is at least some level of interest in your product or service. So you both know what you are there for, a potential sale. The goal then is to make sure that you both get what you want out of the transaction, they get a reasonable price on a product or service that they need and you make a reasonable profit. This is the only possible outcome for successful transaction, the Exact Right Solution.
- Sell them something too expensive and they find out that your price was high, you lose the customer.
- Sell them something too cheap and you lose money on the deal, your company goes out of business.
- Sell them the wrong product that will not actually meet their needs, but makes you a nice commission, you lose the customer.
- Sell them the right product and deliver it late, you lose the customer.
- Sell them the right product and it does not work, and you fail to follow-up and get it fixed quickly, you lose the customer.
- Sell them the right product but promise them too many additional services, you lose money on the deal, your company goes out of business.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the idea, unless both you and the customer get exactly what is right for both of you, you have not made a successful sale.
That means that it is not you against the customer, it is the two of you working together as a team to develop the Exact Right Solution. To me, this takes away the sometimes adversarial relationship between buyer and seller. I remember early in my career that every time I went on a sales call I felt like I was trying to “win the sale.” The truth of the matter is I should have been trying to win the trust of my customer by giving them exactly what they wanted, that also aligned perfectly with what I wanted, so that we could build a strong positive relationship and I could be seen as a partner and trusted advisor who would always do what was in their best interest, as long as it was also in my best interest. The classic Win-Win agreement.
Now that I understand this, sales is so much more fun. I’m not there to “win” anything, I’m there to help us much as I can and work jointly with my customer to develop solutions that makes everybody happy so that we look forward to doing more business together in the future.
To me, that is the way a professional salesperson approaches the sales process.