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Posted: September 28, 2009

Make more money in less time: serve, don’t sell

We all want to buy, but nobody wants to be sold anything

 The stereotypical used car guy focuses quickly on what he could say or do to make the sale. What emotional string can he pull? What weakness can he exploit? Do they hate confrontation? Are they easy to confuse? Do they have big egos? Do they fear losing out on the car to somebody else? Most importantly, how are they perceiving me, the salesperson?

We all want to buy things, but nobody really wants to be sold anything. I might actually enjoy buying furniture if I didn't have someone in my face as soon as I walk in trying to "answer my questions," which is code for "figure out what I can sell him."

Here's a simple concept; serve, don't sell. Don't ever sell anybody anything. Ever. Just serve them where they are in what they need, even if their need has absolutely nothing to do with what you sell. If you were disciplined enough to stop selling your product or service and simply figure out how to serve the people you meet, your sales would increase exponentially.

Why? First, the old sales saw is true - people buy from people, not companies, and they buy the most from people they like the most. Do I get people to like me by being clever or reading body language? No, people like me because I do something that actually helps them move forward in whatever it is that is standing in their way.

Second, if we serve people in what THEY need, not in what advances our agenda, it builds trust, credibility and motivation all at once. And the result is ironically indebtedness. "You've helped me so much, if there is anything I can ever do for you, let me know." The used car salesman would die to get that kind of loyalty out of a customer. He just wouldn't serve the customer to get there.

You'll read this, but it's not likely you'll actually apply it. We all "believe" it, but because the benefit is many times delayed, we have trouble actually doing it. You may make a few less quick sales, but you'll make a lot more long term ones.

Oh and be prepared for this. "My friend said you took care of him in a way that didn't even relate to your business. That's why I'm here to buy from you."

I dare you to not even bring up your business. Just serve them where they are, not where you want them to be. You'll make more money in less time.

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