Sunday, July 11, 2010

If It Ain't Broke - Fix It Anyway!

Don't have a business issue that can be resolved with one of our solutions? It doesn't matter - I'll try to sell it to you anyway! If fact, I'll purposely waste everyone's time and money to force a fit no matter how difficult and hopeless it becomes. I'll pitch my products and services to you when you don't care at all AND, even if you tell me that it doesn't fit, I'll continue to waste your time. I'll pass up other potential opportunities and keep relentlessly bothering you.

Alright, I'm being a bit dramatic here; however, I know that this situation happens every day in thousands of companies, worldwide. Selling isn't about the product/service you're pitching - it's about the IMPACT those products/services have on your customer. This is a universal truth about selling and buying regardless of product, industry, value, size or customer-type. You don't buy a toothbrush because you like toothbrushes. You buy it because it cleans your teeth and prevents cavities and tooth loss - which causes pain! It's the same thing for your customers. NOBODY buys your product/service for any other reason.

Given this simple, but important fact of life, doesn't it make sense to focus sales efforts only on those customers that really have a business/organizational issue that you can solve with your solutions? This means, as a salesperson, you MUST understand the customer first. You have a professional obligation to qualify your customers before you propose. This builds the "trusted partner" relationship which creates long-term satisfaction. Isn't that what you want?

Next time you're with a customer and they really wouldn't be better off buying your solution, try telling them the truth. You'll be amazed what fruits grow from this seed of honesty.


  1. Wait! That would mean a salesperson has to do a little homework before a call. That's hard work that should be done after calling hours, instead of watching the Bachelor. Who wants to do that?! :-)