Tom and Sarah's stories show the power of a customer-centric approach to business and continuous learning by a salesperson..
Every day, Sarah would focus on understanding her customers' needs, wants, and desires, creating products and services that made their lives better. She was driven by the desire to serve and delight her customers, to make them feel like heroes. She learned that the route of the word sales was the Norwegian word “selje” which literally means “to serve”.
One day, despite her success, Sarah realized she had always had some issues with sales objections. She decided to focus her research on this area, seeking a way to improve her response to objections and maintain the rapport she had worked so hard to build with her prospects.
Because of that, she found a way to instantly respond to every objection and turn the conversation back onto the prospect. This approach also allowed her to uncover the real objections her prospects had, the underlying concerns that were preventing them from making a purchase. She learned never to use "yes, but" in response to an objection, as this could damage the rapport she had built. Instead, she found a much better response, one that acknowledged the prospect's concern while gently guiding the conversation back to the value she could provide.
Continuing her research, Sarah discovered a process to reframe any objection. Not being satisfied with just knowing the process she practiced applying it to her regular objections until she could answer any objection seamlessly. She learned to view objections not as roadblocks, but as opportunities to deepen her understanding of her prospects and provide them with even more value. This approach allowed her to maintain rapport with her prospects, even when addressing their concerns, and led to even more successful sales conversations.
Meanwhile, Tom continued to see people and products as commodities. He learned a couple of “canned” responses to dealing with objections which worked sometimes but not always. He was still only interested in extracting value from his prospects, with no regard for the long-term. His approach led to some short-term successes but left him feeling unfulfilled and burnt out. When he did get objections they often became a roadblock to a sale.
In the end, Sarah's customer-centric approach, ongoing commitment to the profession and being the best she could be not only led to long-term success but also created a positive impact on the world.
She knew that 'no matter how many customers you have, each is an individual.' She understood that 'the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory”.
She built a clientele that she was delighted to serve and who were happy to see her. To her, sales was about more than just making money. It was about serving and delighting her customers and about making a difference in their lives."
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