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“Selling Would Be So Great If It Weren’t For Those Friggin Customers!”

by David Brock on September 30th, 2022

I’m stunned by how many sellers hate their customers! Sit and talk with a group of sellers talking about the past week or so. Comments like, “They are so stupid…. they are clueless…. they don’t know what they are doing….Turkeys!”

Those comments aren’t just limited to customers. Marketing, legal, pricing, product management, managers……everyone else become subjects of our frustration.

And, likewise, many of those people express their frustration with sellers in similar ways, marketing, sales enablement, sales, ops, management, customer experience, often say to themselves, “Those sellers are just so incompetent….. Why don’t they do their jobs…. We’d be better without them.”

I get it, often, it’s just frustration. What we do is hard, frustrating. Likewise, everyone else gets frustrated in with others they work with. It’s human nature, we need to let off steam.

But, increasingly, I fear a lot of this is not just frustration, rather a genuine lack of respect for customers or people in other functions. And, I think this arises when we don’t understand others and don’t care about them.

We seem to care about customers only because they are our vehicle to getting purchase orders. If they only understood that, things would be so much easier.

The problem is, they do understand that. And that’s why they don’t want to talk to us. We demonstrate our disdain in our behavior.

That’s why they prefer every channel other than sales people. They don’t want to talk to us, because, too often, we aren’t helpful to them. They can learn about our products and solutions in other places. They need help with their business problems. Whether it’s helping them recognize they have an opportunity/problem, helping them learn about it, helping them understand the necessity to change, then helping them navigate the change and buying processes.

They crave help! They need help in understanding, in making sense of what they are trying to do, in navigating their process, they need confidence in what they are doing and that the decision they make is a high quality decision. They worry about whether they are doing the right thing–for themselves and the company.

Only when they complete this, successfully, do they issue a purchase order. And 60% of the time they fail!

High performing sales people recognize this and act differently. They don’t stick to the script, they are driven by being helpful. They seek to understand the customer and their business, they incite the customer to see things differently. They help the customer move forward and change. They are driven by the customers’ success, knowing that only through the customer being successful, do we achieve our goals. And, underlying all of this, they care.

Yes, it’s often frustrating. We want people to see things, we want people to get it. We and they struggle. Frankly, part of the joy of selling is dealing with this. Figuring it out, working with people, getting to that “Aha” moment. Then helping them move forward. It’s always been a huge feeling of accomplishment.

If we want to be successful in selling. If we want to consistently achieve our goals. We have to care. We have to recognize that our success comes through the customers’ success.

Selling is never easy, but it’s far more fun and challenging because of the customers.

Afterword, these principles also apply within our organizations and communities.

From → Transformation

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