While teaching a class recently, we were discussing how providing good customer service can sometimes be difficult. One of the attendees made a comment about how sales people had it very tough because their main job was to separate people from their money. I immediately stopped him and said I totally disagreed. I went into a rant-like discourse on what I believe selling is really all about.
You see, there very well may have been a day when sales was primarily about separating people from their money but I think we have evolved from that. And yes, there are still a lot of hangers on to those antiquated ideas of what sales people do but I hope more and more are converting to what sales really is in our modern day.
I believe the job of sales is about service not about prying money out of the hands of customers. The real job of sales people is to find out what it is people want to accomplish and then to help them find ways to best achieve those goals. To put it simply, sales isn’t about “what do you want?” and filling an order, it’s about “what do you want to do?” and then figuring out how to best help people do it. Thus, sales people are really success coaches, they are guides and advisors who help us get focus on what we want and how to get there.
As far as the money part, it’s only the reward for doing this consulting job really well. If sales people want a real gauge for determining how well they are doing, it shouldn’t be money; they should ask themselves how happy their customers are in paying the price. If a customer grumbles about paying or says the price is too high, how well did you really do in making them successful? How great was your solution? A great solution that is effortless and enjoyable should have customers handing over their money with a smile on their face.
Regardless, sales should be a service not a struggle. Money isn’t the point, helping customers successfully accomplish goals is. If you are in sales, start thinking in terms of “what do you want to do?” so you can really see more success and customers can too.