The First Element of Engagement
This may seem like strange business advice, especially if you’re in sales, but stick with me. Because the fact is, people don’t like to be sold. It conjures up the proverbial snake-oil salesman, where transactions lack integrity and are more likely to be about the salesperson’s goal than the buyer’s need. Remember Clark Griswold driving off the lot in the Family Truckster when what he clearly wanted was the Antartic Blue Super Sports Wagon? I know when I read or hear something that looks and sounds like an advertisement, it turns me off right away.
I much prefer it if someone takes the time to get to know me, understands what I’m trying to do and then offers me a thoughtful, creative solution that is even better than what I’d imagined.
So let’s use the the word, relationship building instead. This approach has become engrained in my DNA when I’m dealing with my clients. People come to the Rothschild Marketing Group all the time with lists of what they think they need for a particular situation. After talking with them for a bit, I often realize they haven’t really thought the situation all the way through. Now, I have a lot of experience and a very good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. But I also know every client is going to have different needs, motivations, and priorities. It would be unwise of me to think I could sell them all the same nice package.
This approach might take a little more time at the beginning, but switching from a self-serving to a customer-focused mindset helps your customer see you as a trusted advisor and allows you to create better solutions. You’ll end up with deeper and longer lasting relationships. And, in the long run, you’ll probably even exceed your own goals.
Like my dad always preached to me, if you can genuinely fill a person’s need, you don’t have to sell … because they will want to buy.