As usual, I got embroiled in a LinkedIn conversation on selling. What sucked me in was the preponderance of opinions around what we must do “to the customers,” rather than with them.
We always use language of things we subject customers to:
- We prospect them
- We qualify them
- We pitch them
- We discover their needs
- We demo to them
- We propose a solution
- We handle their objections
- We deliver value to them
- We close them
- We move on to the next victim, I mean prospect
Customers and prospects are the subjects and objects upon which we do things to.
But what would happen if we change our perspective, focusing on how we do things with the customer?
- What if we create a shared, collaborative experience in which we grow and learn with the customer?
- What if we helped guide the the customer through their buying journey, after all, we are experienced in doing this, they seldom do it?
- What if we helped them determine/understand the consequences of not changing?
- What if we helped them in their risk assessment, developing strategies to minimize or manage risks?
- What if we understood the personal concerns/fears and helped them address those?
- What if we developed a collaborative project plan to manage the process, minimizing slips and maximizing shared success?
- What if we focus on creating value with them, not for them?
Selling is something we do to someone. Buying is a collaborative process. We can work with our customers in buying.