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Do you make enough sales?

Customers are allies, not opponents

Thereís something inside out about the way most business people think about the selling process. They all say "weíre customer focused," or "the customer comes first," or "customer satisfaction is our goal." But itís the exception, not the rule, when they really act like they believe it. Watch what they do (and maybe what you do) and you can see how backward it is. They may not realize it, and no one would admit to it if they did, but most people in business see their customers as opponents to be overcome instead of allies to be helped.

Allies? Yes. An ally is someone who cooperates with you to achieve a common purpose. And thatís exactly what a customer is. Customers are, by nature, allies who want to buy the products and services you want to sell. But todayís high-pressure world has made many of them reluctant skeptics who are wary of being persuaded or even tricked into making a purchase. The sales practices of most businesses have warped their customersí basic hopeful nature into something suspicious, resistant, and sometimes even fearful.

What are these sales practices? They have names like "creating a need," "overcoming objections," and "closing the sale." And they are all born of the belief that customers arenít cooperative and that itís the salespersonís task to "get" the sale.

But you donít "create a need." Customers come equipped with their own needs, needs that have nothing to do with you. The best you can do is help customers understand their needs better. You donít "overcome objections." You help customers understand your products and give them the information that helps them make their purchase decisions. And you donít "close the sale." In fact, you never close the sale. You open it and keep it open, because your goal is not the sales transaction. Itís helping your customers arrive at decisions that are satisfying and in their best interests.

So we call the selling process "Offering the Opportunity." If you think itís just a fancy name for selling, think again. Itís not about words. Itís about two very different attitudes and sets of beliefs. One sees customers as opponents, people to "overcome" through manipulative sales techniques. The other sees them as allies, people to be understood and helped. "Sales" will always be a struggle because itís "us against them." "Offering the Opportunity" recognizes your prospectsí motivation to become your customers and gives them what they need to support their decisions to buy. Itís not "us against them," itís we. Itís a cooperative, honest, mutual exchange of value with your customers.

So, your sales process is simply a system for helping customers make their buying decisions, not persuading them, not tricking them, not "selling" them. Helping them.

Contact us TODAY if you are a principal or owner of a business with annual sales of 1.5 million to 20 million and you want to discover more about how a Strategic Affairs Business Strategist and Coach can help with your companyís growth.

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