Stop selling. Start helping. – Zig Ziglar

We talk a lot at Magnify about helping our clients to gain new clients, close deals and increase sales.  This is the key reason clients work with us – because we can help them to do these things.  There are some brilliant businesses out there and we all have the same aim – improving our results – which means growing sales.

The key I’ve often found to growing sales is in this quote by Zig Ziglar – Stop selling.  Start helping.

When we focus on selling, we’re thinking about ourselves.  A salesperson focussed on selling to the customer is thinking about targets, about their car repayments, about the holiday they’re aiming for.  The customer becomes a means to an end.  A sale from them is a step in the direction that the salesperson would like their life to go – another step towards achieving their sales target, making their car repayments, lying on that beach in Fiji.

I’m not saying that salespeople shouldn’t have goals and targets.  These are crucial to keep us moving, to keep going when you’re working with customers who haven’t yet said Yes.

However – if we take a step back from our own needs, and focus on meeting the needs of our customers – my experience is that we often find our own needs will be met.  Sounds crazy but it’s true.

Customers are people.  We can’t afford to forget that.  Your customers are real people with real feelings and real lives going on behind the objections and the proposals and the sales targets.  Dig a bit further, listen a bit more, and they might just share the reason why they can’t say Yes to your proposal right now.

When we focus on helping our customers, we blow the competition out of the water.  Who wouldn’t want to deal with someone that is focused on helping us meet our needs and goals?  A focus on helping our customers develops trust, which translates to deeper customer relationships.  This is where you’ll hear your customers’ real pain points, the real reasons why they can’t say Yes to your proposal right now.

When you help your customers, they’ll help you without you even trying.  They will want to buy from you because you listen, you care about their business goals, you patiently wait out the competition, and you are right there when they are ready to buy.  Just like the bumblebee in the photo above, your helpful approach will draw them into deeper customer relationships with you and your business.

So, look at your sales targets for March.  One month to go before the end of the financial year for many of us.  Five more weeks to make a difference to your year-end results.

Now look at the proposals you’ve sent out over the last four to six weeks.  Are you in conversation with those potential customers?  Have you shown them how your business can help them?  Do you truly understand their pain points, how urgently they need your help?  What about the challenges their industry is facing right now?

Give them a follow up call.  Ask them how they’re doing.  Uncover the real reason they haven’t yet said Yes.  Show them how you can help to meet their needs.  Don’t be disappointed if they want to defer spending until the new financial year on 01 April – at least you’ll know your new financial year is off to a good start.

We win when our customers win.  Stop selling.  Start helping.