Selling is Caring… Really!

Helping Others Gives Success True MeaningPeople are going to think I’m crazy for saying this but it’s true. Great selling is 100% about caring…Think about the best buying experiences you have ever had. Did it feel manipulative? Could you see the crazy awesome closing techniques they used? or did it feel very natural and “good”? We think we are helping people by sharing all the awesome features and benefits we know and showing off our expertise and product knowledge  but I feel like Theodore Roosevelt nailed it when he said: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

For me the absolute best buying experiences have been with salespeople who really got to know me. They were not technique laden “hunters”, “killers”, or “closers” (believe me I’ve done this long enough that I can spot them!). They were genuine people who took an interest in me, my problems and goals and set out to present me with well thought out solutions.  All of them had good habits and techniques, but they were not relying on those skills they were building relationship.

A great example of this is the real estate agent who sold me my house. When we met for the first time he sat down and talked to my wife and I, but also took the time to talk to my kids and really try to understand what all of us were looking for. He then laid out his plan. First time out 5 houses absolutely no offers. Next time out 3 houses no offers, but we will really like these houses. Then on the third time out 2-3 houses and a solid offer on the house we would buy. To be honest at this point I was like NO freaking way! How does he know this?

So the first time out we looked at 5 houses and he did not sell one bit. He was in the background watching everything. He watched my kids, listened to my wife an I talk about what we liked and when we left he would ask questions. What really blew me away was when I’d say things like: “I really loved that deck!” and he would say yes it was very nice but did you see Sophia trying to get up and down those steps? Me… Ya I guess I did. They were really steep and there was no rail. We looked a a lot of nice houses all very different and we had things we liked about all of them though it felt like a productive day.

The next time out 3 houses and we loved them all… same story. Lots of questions and interaction paired with great feedback. Third trip out 2 houses and an offer.

Now he did a lot of things right and there was good technique, but he built trust and we sent referrals later. He did a good job not just because of his skill but because he was a good guy, a professional, and was sincerely interested in helping us get a home we would love.

I do not care what you sell… your customers have goals, dreams, and desires and if you focus your sales strategy on these things you will close more sales. If you are looking for a good read on how to master building relationships and hone your technique I highly recommend Joe Girard’s How To Sell Anything to Anybody. This book has had a very powerful influence on my selling style and helped me mature from a skillful sales person to a true professional.

I’d love to hear about your GREAT sales experiences or tragic failures and how you think caring played a role in that experience… As always I promise to replay back and keep the conversation going!

-Brad

5 Responses to Selling is Caring… Really!
  1. Janet Stephenson (@JanetLouise8)
    December 4, 2012 | 10:46 pm

    You make a valid point, Brad. I want to clarify, though – to me, it’d be more accurate to say “the Art of Selling Well is to CARE”. Not all selling is about caring, some sales people are just pushy. You had a gem of a realtor, though. Lucky!
    Janet Stephenson (@JanetLouise8) recently posted..Balance: Gotta Learn to Obtain AND MaintainMy Profile

    • Brad
      December 4, 2012 | 10:54 pm

      or great sales people care… good selling is about connecting the right person with the right product. And ya, there are a LOT of people more concerned with closing deals and moving on. It makes me sad. I think we have a right to be paid for helping others and we should be paid well for it, but i hat to see people taken advantage of or sold crap.

  2. Harold Gardner
    December 7, 2012 | 6:14 pm

    This is a great post. Folks sometimes ask me what techniques I use to sell. I explain that I listen carefully to what the customer needs; then try to figure out if I can help. Some of my best referrals are from folks that I told I couldn’t help. I sent them some reasonable options. The trust that I built there, even though I did not get that sale, lead to opportunities downstream.
    Harold Gardner recently posted..December 06, 2012 at 03:17PMMy Profile

  3. Oscar Gonzalez
    December 23, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    At first, I was going to disagree with the post, but as you explained more and more, I can’t disagree. Especially with the example of the realtor that helped you. Sometimes we forget to do this while “selling ourselves” and we need to remember if we want to be successful. Thanks for the post and reminder.
    Oscar Gonzalez recently posted..Craigslist Joe Review, a Documentary for our times – now on NetflixMy Profile

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