Crippled CEO Blog #090:
Nobody likes being sold to.
No one likes a sales person.
Even just the word “salesman” has a negative connotation. No one uses that title on their business cards anymore because we all know that it’s a “bad thing”.
But that lady at the garden store who knows everything there is to know about orchids? We like her. The hairstylist who can explain, in detail, the multiple session process you will need to go through to get the color you want, and she’s correct? We like her as well. The guy at the hardware store that can tell you exactly what kind of screw you need for that specific application? He’s awesome.
All of these people are using their words to sell you something. But we don’t think of them as sales people.
Chances are that they don’t think of themselves as sales people, either.
These people are a resource. We love resources. Resources are here to help us, not impose their will upon us. Resources have a skill or expertise they have earned over time. Resources give, not take. They advise, not convince.
We all hate to be sold to, but we love to buy.
Being a sales person is easier short term. You need to be knowledgeable, but not as knowledgeable as you have to be to be a resource.
But being a resource is easier, and more profitable, in the long term. People come to you, not the other way around. People choose you even when you are more expensive. People tell their friends about you when they have a problem. You create relationships, not just transactions.
I’ve read some of the highest touted books on “selling” and I’m sure I’ve picked up some useful ideas in them, but I think every for every hour spent getting better at selling, you’d be better off spending 30 minutes becoming more of an expert, more of a resource. Knowing the three most important steps to close a deal don’t matter nearly as much when people are going to choose you regardless.
(You know who never has to try to sell me? Your mom. She’s a resource I’m always buying from. She also enjoys getting a resource texted to her every Sunday. Send a text to the number 484848 with the word CRIP in the body and I’ll send you one, too.)