SALES

Selling Is an Act of Love

Selling means helping the customer rather than conquering a territory or destroying a competitor.
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Many top executives describe their sales strategy using violent metaphors, like "killing the competition" or "conquering the market." While that way of talking may make the executive feel manly and powerful, customers don't like it.

Customers don't give a rat's rear-end about your market share, much less your desire to beat the competition into a bloody pulp. More importantly, customers really hate the aggressive hard-sell behavior that tough talk encourages.

Truly successful salespeople think about selling more as an act of "love and caring" rather than one of aggression, according to my friend and mentor Gerhard Gschwandtner. In the latest issue of Selling Power magazine, he points out that:

"Salespeople... liberally use the language of love and caring. We hear such terms as 'nursing' or 'babysitting' a new account or treating a disgruntled customer with TLC. Others describe the need for 'hand-holding' to persuade a reluctant client, or they refer to a little 'tug at the heart.' In some cases, salespeople express the language of love without words; they may use a softer tone of voice when they describe key product benefits. They may employ gestures that communicate complete devotion and affection toward their product."

This is not to say that successful salespeople aren't aggressive! However, rather than aiming their aggression at customers, they aim it at themselves. They're extremely aggressive when setting sales goals or committing themselves to self-improvement.

However, when it comes to working with customers, the best salespeople always remember that their real job is to help the customer.  And, no matter how you look at it, helping is an act of love.

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IMAGE: id-iom/Flickr
Last updated: Jun 13, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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