You’ve been doing sales all wrong. Everything you’ve learned about selling to people is likely predicated on the wrong foundational principle. Whether you realize it or not, your default sales approach is receiving, when you should really be giving.
The Traditional Approach to Selling
The traditional sales method is to compile a list of prospective customers, contact them, and push your product on them – all with the hopes of cashing in and making some money. And while your product/solution may genuinely help the customer, you’re coming across as prideful and/or self-serving. Everyone knows that you’re ultimately selling for your own benefit and there’s very little evidence to suggest otherwise.
You can be moderately successful with a get-get-get strategy, but there’s a serious cap on your potential. If you want to maximize your results and remove these constraints, you need to adopt a give-give-get approach to sales.
The give-give-get approach is counterintuitive, yet wildly successful. It’s predicated on selflessness and generosity. The aim is to give people so much value that they (a) can’t help but want more, and (b) feel compelled to buy something.
Think about it like this: When you give your new neighbor a delicious apple pie as a housewarming gift, they’re going to want more of your cooking in the future. They’ll also feel compelled to return the favor. Whether it’s watching your dog while you’re on vacation or bringing over dinner when you’re sick, there’s a willingness/desire to pay you back.
In a business-client relationship, a repetitive generosity will almost always be rewarded with sales. It might not work out that way in every customer interaction, but the overall numbers will work out in your favor. Whether it’s 7 out of 10 customers or 9 out of 10, you end up getting far more than you give. And at the end of the day, that’s all you need to justify a selfless approach.
5 Ways to Incorporate Giving Into Your Sales Approach
Instead of cold calling and pushing out repetitive advertisements, think about how you can provide your audience with value. Here are some specific strategies:
1. Provide Trials and Samples
Freebies should be a part of every sales strategy – particularly when it comes to B2B sales. Giving out freebies does a couple of things. First off, it provides proof of the product’s quality and value. Secondly, it motivates people to purchase. (Customers think: “Well, if this company gave me a free sample, I should at least buy something from them. That other company didn’t offer me anything.”)
Freebies come in all shapes and sizes. They include books, research reports, white papers, event passes, gadgets, tools, complementary services, branded swag, trial versions, webinars, etc. Find the freebies that make the most sense for your company and go from there.
Few things are more valuable to prospective customers than your knowledge. Giving away knowledge doesn’t cost you anything other than a little time and effort. This can be used to your advantage.
Knowledge sharing happens in a variety of ways. You can write blog posts, give away books, host webinars, record podcasts, or even host workshops. While many people fear that they’ll cheapen the products they sell when they give away so much information for free, this is rarely – if ever – true. People will always assume that you have more to offer (and you do). You’re just teasing the audience with a small taste.
3. Write Guest Blog Posts
Blogging is more important than ever. It yields numerous sales, marketing, and
Guest blogging is beneficial for a number of reasons. Not only does it produce backlinks (which enhances your
4. Give of Your Time
As a salesperson, time is your greatest asset. Therefore, the number one way to show customers you care is by giving your time. You can do this in a few different ways:
- Spend time with your customers. Take them to lunch, or give them tickets to a baseball game. Instead of spending the entire time talking about work, use it to discuss other things. This investment of time will yield far greater results than an extended sales call.
- Offer to personally train your customers on any new product or service you sell them. If you don’t have an answer, find someone who does and then returns with the information. This is far more effective than just handing a client off to a customer service rep.
- Provide prospects with your personal cell phone number and email address. This shows a much greater willingness to serve. (And when they call or email, respond right away!)
Giving away your time can feel draining, but you’ll ultimately be rewarded with better sales figures and higher earnings. It’s a positive tradeoff.
5. Always Keep Customers in Mind
Never stop thinking about your customers. Whether you’re out of town on vacation, or you’re in the office, let your customers know they’re constantly within your focus. Bring them a gift from your trip, or randomly upgrade their account for the next year – just because! This sort of genuine, selfless behavior impresses people more than just about anything else.
Optimize Your Sales Approach
The face of sales is changing, and you don’t want to get left behind. The old way of selfish selling is quickly being replaced by selfless giving. Trust in the process and be bold enough to optimize your sales approach. You’ll like the results.