After graduating high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but the one thing I was sure I didn’t want was to become a salesman. Mainly because the perception I had of salesmen was all bad. They were people who could never be trusted because all they cared about was taking your money.
After I got an engineering degree and worked in corporate America as an engineer, I realized that I hated that work. What I was meant to do was own a business. But I also realized that to own a business, I had better learn to sell. So I set out to be the best salesman I could be. I decided early on that the one thing I would not do is lie or cheat my way to success. I would be an honest salesman. I would not be a hard closer who made people uncomfortable.
I attended several sales training classes, and although they never taught you to lie, they did teach you hard closing techniques that I never felt comfortable using. So I didn’t. Instead, I chose to treat prospects like I wished to be treated. I asked them yes or no questions, and sometimes I actually recommended that they not buy from me.
Crazy? Maybe if you are the Wolf of Wall Street. But for myself and for my company, that approach has worked extremely well. I am proud that we have been in business for 28 years with thousands of happy clients.
I care about helping the client to find the best possible solution for their problem. I won’t sell them something that does not make sense for their needs. Instead of working them with sales tricks, I simply ask a lot of questions to find the “pain”. Pain is code-word for their problem. If there is no pain, there is no sale. What I mean by that is that if a person is completely happy with the other vendor they are using, and that vendor is doing everything right at a fair price, then the best thing for them is to keep buying from that vendor. It takes someone who really cares about the client being happy, to walk away at times.
The reality is that most of the time when you take this approach, you find that the client has a legitimate problem that previous vendors aren’t solving, and that you can find a solution that is win-win. You see, win-win is another thing that comes out when you care. When you really care, and execute so the client’s needs always come first, an amazing thing happens: The client cares about you. If you approach the relationship right, you will find that the client will let you win also. Winning means you get a fair price for your product or service that allows you to make a fair profit.
So drop all the fancy sales tactics, find out the true problem of the client, and then care enough to solve it the right way even if that means it takes money out of your pocket.