My new book, Doing Business at the Table, is out and ready to ship
Sign up for our monthly newsletter

*All Below fields are Mandatory


Tennessean Column- Sunday, November 1

Posted on: November 10

Author: Tom Black
Tennessean Column- Sunday, November 1

Selling is about service, and your results will show it

If you aren’t selling as much as you want or need to, look in the mirror and repeat, “I am not helping enough people with my product or service.”

That’s the bottom line.  Like Zig Ziglar said, “You can get anything you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.”  Yes, selling is about service.

When I was selling books door to door, I was taught “Always have a service attitude.”  Further, I was told, “The customer can see the dollar signs in your eyes.”  I believe it!

The best sales people in every company I’ve worked with portray this service attitude.  The worst just want to tell their story and leave.  I might add that they usually don’t tell it often enough.  Here are some characteristics I’ve seen in salespeople with a service attitude:

They pay it forward.  Regardless of the outcome of the sale, they are trying to help their prospect.  One of the companies I own sells ATMs.  Our best salesperson called on a bank and the CEO didn’t want ATMs.  He wanted big printers.  We didn’t sell them.  When Steve, our salesperson, left, he did all the research on which printers were best.  He even identified two salespeople from competitive companies.  Then he sent it all to the CEO of the bank.  Steve said he never got a thank you.

Seven years went by, and we got a call from that CEO.  He asked the receptionist if Steve still worked there.  By then, Steve was our president.  That bank ordered 14 new ATMs, which was the largest order, at that time, in the history of our company.  Yeehaw!

Steve had paid it forward without regard for himself, helping the customer first.  The greatest salespeople all do this.  They look for a way to serve first.

A second characteristic I’ve seen in the greatest salespeople is that they ask a lot of questions.  They are genuinely interested in the prospects’ success and happiness.  They really only want to sell their product if they believe that it will help their prospect.  The way they determine if their product or service will help is by asking a lot of questions.  They care more about finding or creating a need than telling their story.

I learned the power of this when I was selling books.  I sold a Bible dictionary.  Before I showed the book, I’d ask three questions:  Have you ever read a word in the Bible you couldn’t pronounce?  Have you ever read a word you didn’t understand?  Have you ever wanted to know about a name or place in the Bible?  After these three questions, many people would buy the book without opening it.  That’s right, they never looked inside to see what they were buying.  I had found their needs and they were ready to buy.  The greatest salespeople display their service attitude by asking lots of questions.

Finally, the best salespeople portray their service attitude by their enthusiasm and work ethic.  When you talk to these service-minded professionals, they are enthusiastic about their product or service.  When they are in a non-selling social situation, they are enthusiastic about their jobs, their opportunity and their product or service.  In addition, they work all the time.  They are on fire about what they do.

By the way, if you aren’t on fire about your job, your product or service, and your opportunity, do something else.  I am so thankful I am on fire about what I do.  I feel bad for those who aren’t.

One word of warning:  You can’t fake it.  A service attitude is genuine or it is not.  If you give to get, you won’t get – but if you give to give, you will get. 

Share this