We are now experiencing a ‘new economy’ that requires new intentions if businesses are to grow and prosper. Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of business is to make a customer.” Over the past few decades, the customer has taken a back seat to profits, revenue and margins. Business today seems to have either lost sight of or never had this customer first intention. Instead, they focused on selling… new sales, new subscribers that generate activity, while damaging the relationship with consumers and the bottom line, while chasing profitable customers away.

The face of the attack on the consumer is the sales force. Decades of traditional sales training has taught salespeople to trick, control, script and manipulate their way to get orders any way they can to meet quotas, sales goals and close the deal so they can get on to the next one. The immediate corporate pressure of sell, sell, sell has sold out the consumer and forced them to fend for themselves. There are laws for nutritional information, safety features, disclosures of all kinds about everything, but regularly, when it comes to the consumer in the sales process, its caveat emptor – let the buyer beware. Ask yourself, when was the last time you wanted to talk with a salesperson? No one does. Salesperson avoidance is the rule, not the exception.

The few companies with better than average customer reputations are the extremely rare exception today. How many can you name? And all of them have executive management or ownership ensuring that a customer first environment permeates their company and how they do business and engage their customers.

The problems we have with sales people didn’t come from sales people alone. The sales problem that is a plague today is the result of businesses that have either lost their way, succumbing to the pressure of this quarter’s financial report to Wall Street, or the blatant investor driven bottom-line-only environment that permeates the culture in so many companies today.

Consumers are done. Buyers are fed up. They are not going to do business with people they no longer trust, respect or think don’t care about them. If consumers are not helped and treated with more respect, the world will know in a few minutes as the negative online social media wave builds. Many companies already have a (insert name of company) stinks.com website created by dissatisfied customers. Companies need to wake up and reexamine their philosophies, structure, customer policies and rules of engagement if they are to survive in the new economy.

Consumers need to be engaged by a salesperson that has the intention to help, serve and do what is best for them. They are done being sold. This will only happen when companies support their salespeople and understand that this is the most profitable business plan. Studies show that a philosophy and business plan of a positive consumer intention strategy results in higher margins, higher profits, lower customer service costs and a much more loyal customer base.

For the company and salesperson ready to end the madness and begin the healing process, Making Customers is the best solution.

12 Step Program to Recover from the Effects of Traditional Sales Training

The Making Customers Handbook

“Restoring the Joy and Fulfillment for Professional Salespeople”

1.      I am worn out, beat up, tired and frustrated

  • Where selling began – An exchange for the benefit of the buyer
  • What has happened to selling over time
  • What selling is today – An exchange for the benefit of me

2.      My goal is only to make sales – I admit it

  • My communication is all about me and my product or service
  • Sales for me is strictly a numbers game – The more people I talk to more so I can close
  • My sales behavior is part of the greater problem

3.      I need to be restored to sales sanity

  • Sales is a noble profession that has lost its way
  • No one wants to talk to me. In fact, they avoid me if they can
  • I study sales techniques that encourage me to manipulate, trick and control

4.      I need to make the decision to make customers and not sales

  • What people want from me is help, not sales techniques or manipulation
  • Customer service begins with hello
  • Making customers creates customers for life

5.      I need to change my intention

  • Why should you buy from me?
  • I am looking for people who want what I have
  • I will align my intentions with my customers not force them to align with me

6.      I will keep the long term goal of my customer in mind

  • They probably aren’t buying what I am selling
  • Why are they making the purchase? (Home ownership, finished rooms)
  • Customers buy for their own reasons, not mine

7.      I will engage with better, more meaningful questions

  • With aligned intentions I automatically ask questions that will help me help them
  • I will ask questions to determine what is on the buyers list
  • My questions will be honest and open ended, with no motive to control, coerce or manipulate

8.      I will listen actively

  • With aligned intentions I am listening for answers and clues that provide me the information I need to help them
  • I will engage with eye contact and a smile
  • I will take notes, remember and use the information I gain to help them

9.      I will improve the exchange of information

  • With aligned intentions there is an honest give and take of information
  • I will respond with helpful advice and suggestions with the information I gain
  • I will serve, not please

10.  I will always communicate with 100% truthfulness

  • I am committed to always do what’s best for the customer, even if they don’t want it
  • I will tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God
  • I will overcome my fear to tell them something they need to know, but may not want to hear

11.  I will dedicate myself to helping others

  • Aligned intentions and having the goal to help people is the best way for me to engage consumers
  • By helping others get what they want I have the best opportunity to get what I want, and more than I can get with traditional sales techniques
  • Everything of value comes from honest hard work and not taking short-cuts, doing the things I need to do but don’t want to do

12.  I will carry the message of Making Customers to others

  • The results are going to be so transforming that it will be easy to engage others who are struggling with addiction as a traditional salesperson
  •  It is difficult to maintain a selfless attitude, so I will have those around me that hold me accountable and help me keep my good intentions
  • My daily goal will be to help, serve and do what’s best for others

By Mike Moore with Kirk Chittick

Comments
  1. Well done. Thank you for standing for authentic relations between people no matter the context.

  2. This is outstanding, gentlemen!

    John Kenneth Galbraith said that “all successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.”

    Thanks for kicking in the rotten door of profit-obsessed sales training and being leaders of the Sales Revolution.

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