We are seeing a huge divide among sales people right now. When things are going well, lackluster sales people can still survive. When times get tough, differences arise and the side unprepared to serve falls into a heap. Those who posivitely pivot, make adjustments, and keep their customers first rise to the top.
I led a webinar earlier today called “Servant Selling: How to Serve and Sell the Right Way.” You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the recording if you’d like. We covered several areas and I wanted to highlight a few for you today.
1.Servant selling starts with the right mindset. “If you’re focused on sales, you can’t serve. If you focus on serving, you can sell.” Why do you sell? If the reason has been skin-deep in the past, now is the time to go deeper to the true meaning. In my book Beyond the Board: How to Achieve Your Vision Board Goals in a Fulfilling and Sustainable Way, I go through an entire exercise on how to get to the main “Why.” Those who have a servant-based why and remind themselves of it will find the strength and determination to get through hard times. If this reason is aligned with helping others and making both of your world’s better places, you not only can sell right now, but SHOULD be selling.
My definition of sales is the act of confidently helping people make a decision that is a win-win for both parties. Confidence comes from knowing what to say, ask, and listen for so that your product or service fills their need. Your client is better off, and the world is better off for that transaction taking place.
Daniel Pink wrote one of my favorite books called To Sell is Human. He asks two questions at the end of the book in his chapter about Servant Selling:
- If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve?
- When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?
Mindset also consists of what your state of mind is. Sales is a transference of feelings, and people want to feel good. They remember who made them feel good. This starts with you being calm, reassuring, and caring about them, regardless of how much money will come your way. Your mindset needs to shift to service. How are you guarding your mind right now? I’m watching the news, I’m actively believing what is happening is critical, but also know that people are responding very differently right now. People who are protecting their mind (meditating, limiting time on social media and watching the news, praying, exercising) are doing much better than those who feel like the world is ending and they can do nothing about it.
If you own your mindset, you understand there are things you can do. Even if you can’t control everything, there are aspects you can control. I quoted Sharon Melnick in my book, and she says we can control 50% of what happens to use and 50% is out of our control. Be impeccable with your 50%.
2. We all need to find ways to serve first, and then sell later. We can serve in our marketing and in our sales processes. Branding coaches have been preaching the importance of having an online brand. Part of this that I went all-in on was making sure the content I put out on a daily basis was serving my audience. If I could serve people for free (like running free webinars and writing blogs like this), that would make you better off. If you are better off, you may reach out for help. The ripples that are created when we serve go faster and impact more people than when the attitude is, “I’m just going to get mine.”
One thing to watch right now though if you haven’t done any free content in the past: Do it, but I wouldn’t swing the pendulum to far. People can see your social footprint, and many people are coming out of the woodwork right now to help. It’s not all bad, but think about why you are doing it, and who you want to serve the most. Try and target a particular group of people with your content and serve them by giving them what you feel would be most helpful right now.
What ways can you find to serve right now? I’m using this time to send people letters and postcards to check in with them. Corona cards, instead of Christmas cards (which I never did send last year!). Send people hand-written notes and let them know you are thinking of them. You don’t need to mention selling anything, just that they are on your mind and that they should reach out to you if there is any way you can help.
3. Stay away from sales pitches, but let people buy. People hate to be sold, and love to buy. And there are people right now who are still buying. There are people that haven’t been as affected as others. In sales, it’s important to not qualify people before they qualify themselves. We can’t decide who can afford something right now or who needs what you have.
If you could answer Daniel Pink’s two questions above, by all means, keep putting yourself out there. Serve first. Then let people know you are still in business. Remind them why you do what you do. And let them know that if they have a need or a want for your product and service, you can help them with it.
The economy needs money to flow. If you can keep brining in revenue, that helps your community. You can buy things from others, and they get to keep their business. No one benefits from everything shutting down.
If you want more free resources, you can check out that page on my website. If you have any questions for me or think I could help you or your sales team, reach out to me. I’m offering free sales training and development for sales teams, and free consultations for entrepreneurs.