Starting off Season 2, Week 2 with a topic that shouldn’t need to be addressed.
But it does.
Especially when focused on shifting the landscape of how “sales” is viewed by the public, prospects, and customers.
So where does caring fit into a professional sales career?
In this episode I discuss what I mean by caring, why it’s necessary in your sales process, and how much you should use.
Download The Power of Authentic Persuasion ebook
Enroll in the Authentic Persuasion Online Course
E116 – Transcript
Hello and welcome to another episode of the sales experience podcast. This is episode 116, kicking off week two of Season Two. My name is Jason Cutter, so glad that you’re here. Thank you for listening.
Hopefully you’re subscribed. If not, you can find this show and all of the shows on places like iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify, Google play podcast as well as the cutter consulting group.com website under podcast with all of the episode transcripts. I’m glad that you’re here.
The thing that I wanted to talk about today, I’ve been doing a lot of guests episodes, recording, planning, talking to different people who I want to have on the show and one of the common themes and I wanted to give you the punchline in advance of any of the other guest episodes you might hear is that one of the common themes that is happening a lot in my conversations is how important it is to care about your prospects.
So that’s what I want to talk about today. Now with sales, with management, with leadership in any role, any capacity, which as a salesperson, you’re also a leader. I think it’s so important to care about the person that you’re dealing with. So if we talk specifically for salespeople about salespeople with salespeople, then you as a professional, you will be successful long-term in creating a great sales experience when you actually care about your prospects.
Now what does caring mean? Well, caring is that you want the best for that other person. Now this doesn’t mean that you’re a doormat. This doesn’t mean that you’re an order taker, which I talked about in episode 113 this means that you care about the other person and you want what’s best for them and not yourself. So that’s the first part is that you want what’s best for them and not for you.
So this isn’t about you getting your way all the time. This isn’t about you getting the deal because you need the deal or you got to meet your quota or you’ve got to make some more money to pay your rent or your mortgage or whatever bills you have.
It’s about them getting what they need and getting into a better place for them. Now this doesn’t mean you can’t sell them. It just means that first you have to identify if they’re a valid customer. Are they a good prospect? Are they a good fit for your product or service? Does it make sense for them to purchase from you and become a customer right to buy from you. So that’s the first part is you have to care enough to qualify them, to prequalify them, to ask them questions, to figure out what makes them tick, what they’re struggling with or what their goals are, where they want to be.
Is it a positive thing? Are they trying to get rid of or get out of a bad situation financially, personally, emotionally, physically, health wise, you know, it could be about getting to a better place. It could be about getting away from a bad place. You have to care in my opinion about them enough to ask questions, to find out their truth and not sell from a place of one size fits all. To me, that’s a transactional sales process and that doesn’t take a sales professional and that’s not as important for who I’m talking to.
Listening to the show, it’s more the type of salesperson who’s in a consultative sales role where there’s some kind of assessment of is that person a good candidate? Can they buy, should they buy well, how will this benefit them? And then moving them forward in the transaction. So the first part in caring is about them and their goals and who they are.
Now the second part, and this is where it’s very important for salespeople to get to, is caring about the other person and using that care, that empathy, that desire to help them, that love, if you will, which is a strong word that freaks a lot of people out, especially in sales. But when you care enough about the other person, you want the best for them like you would any of your family members or someone that you love, your sales conversation is going to take a different tone because caring and love and support and empathy and all of that isn’t about nice, cuddly hugging conversations about friendly topics and just being, you know, in a great relationship with someone where it’s all sunshine and rainbows and it’s all about rapport building.
I’ve heard so many salespeople have phone calls and have conversations in meetings where 30 – 45 minutes go by. Nothing is being accomplished. The transaction is not moving forward in any way, but there are now Facebook friends, their recipe sharing friends, restaurant sharing, friends, you know, wine recommendation, sharing friends, sports, friends, whatever it is. They’re in that rapport building in that friend zone, but not in a caring way of where I want you to be in a better place.
And that sometimes has to be harsh conversations where the other person might feel like you’re pushing something on them. As a salesperson, when you do it right, it will feel somewhat pushy, but it’s coming from a place of caring and persuasion and knowing that you want to help that person get from here to there.
So for example, you know, let’s take something where a lot of people could understand this. No matter who you are and what you’re selling is, let’s say that somebody walks into a gym to a health club and they are thinking about getting in shape.
Maybe they want to lose weight, maybe they just want to be stronger. Maybe they want to feel better and maybe they got to work on their cardio so they’re not out of breath all the time. And they walk in there and then the salesperson is talking to them, showing them the options, talking about the gym, and then that person says, well, I’m not sure. I don’t know if I want to do this. Let me think about it.
The sales person can see they want to do it. They know they have that goal, they’ve uncovered it. It would actually be a disservice to that prospect if they were to leave the gym without taking action, without getting on the road to better healthy state. And so that salesperson might come across as pushy, but it’s from a place inside of them where it’s about helping that other person and wanting to get them to where it is, even if they’re resistant and they’re afraid.
And so caring doesn’t mean, like I said, being a doormat and just being an order taker and letting your prospects dictate everything. Sometimes caring, and I’ve done this before where it’s I’m caring as a salesperson, which means I’m going to give you some harsh truth in a loving way. It doesn’t mean I’m going to be an ass about it, but I’m going to give you some truth. It’s some information that you need. It’s based on your situation and your goals. It’s not about me, it’s not my motivation. I don’t care. It’s more about you and your situation. I’ve described my selling style, my leadership, my coaching, my management style as I hugged people because I care, right? I’m going to hug you as my prospect because I care, which might sound weird, but it’s always worked for me in management and sales, all of it.
It’s all the same in life. But I hug you because I care sometimes I’ve got to then kick you in the butt while I’m hugging you to get you to take action. Sometimes I might have to hug you because I care. I’m going to pick you up and I’m literally going to carry you across the finish line because I know what you want and I know that you’re scared or worried or the fear is there that a trust is low. The barriers are up.
Sometimes I’m literally going to pick you up and carry you to your finish line because I know that’s what you need and it will help make an improvement in your life. Like a lot of times, and we can do this with other people. It’s hard to do it with ourselves, but we can generally see what somebody else could be doing, should be doing and where they could be at with their life if they made different decisions.
Sometimes we can see that easier for them than they can see it for themselves. We all have that, right? So in our own lives, it’s the same way. We can’t always see the solutions for our problems because we created our problems. Our problems are a result of we are at in our life, in our decisions. And so other people can always see it easier. And when you’re a sales person that cares, you can see your prospect’s future and where they should be.
And I know this seems weird. It seems like woo woo and maybe really outside of the realm of what you’re thinking from a sales podcast. But it’s true when you care about your prospects, and again, this is business to consumer. This is business to business. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to a VP of marketing at a company or trying to sell them something.
You can do all that from this same filter, from caring about them, from having empathy, from wanting the best for them in their role, in their life, for their company, for what that means for their company. Then to their employees, which then filters down to their customers. Like all of that has a giant impact. You can impact a lot of people as a B to B salesperson doing things the right way because you care. Because that will have a dramatic impact in the org as well as throughout their customers.
All of this is the same. So because you care, you can see their future, you want to get them there, which means that’s where the sales professional, that’s where the persuasion comes in. That’s where being able to take the questions you ask, uncover the information to diagnose. If this is somebody who you can help, can you get them to a better place?
Do they want to be in that better place? At least some part of it. And then you’ve got to prescribe that solution and then get them there. And because you care, you’re going to push them. Sometimes you’re gonna pull them with you. Sometimes you’re going to push them. Now, always keep in mind you want them to buy from you. You want them to be the one doing the buying. You don’t want to sell to them and force them because then you’ll have buyers remorse on your hands. Then you’ll have cancellations, returns, refunds, complaints, all of those things. So you need them to come with you at some level. Sometimes it’s literally you’re carrying arm around their shoulder and you’re both going to walk together to the destination. So always remember in the real end point of all this caring is how you succeed. Now, can you succeed in sales and make a lot of money out about people?
There’s so many people out there. There’s so many examples that we could all pull up of people who are successful either. In our companies where we’ve been at, other companies we’ve seen or people who have been in the headlines where they have been successful, they’ve made a lot of money and they haven’t cared at all. They don’t care about people and they don’t care about their customers. All they care about is the bottom line, the dollar, the paycheck, the commission, their business, whatever it is. They only care about that.
And what I will say and argue is that yes, that can work up to a point that will work for a while, but it will never work long-term. It might work for years and years and years, but at some point that’s going to come crashing down. Now that person may go start another business and another industry changed their company name and then keep running and then hopping from industry to industry.
But at some point it will all fall apart. And with the transparency now online, thanks to the internet and just everything being at our fingertips, customers will expose bad salespeople who don’t care even faster than we’ve ever seen in the past. And so it’s super important. It’s so critical. If nothing else, if you care about your prospects and want the best for them, then you will win as you add in the other parts. So remember that I just so important. I’m not going to ever say it too much. Care about your prospects and you will win. Just care about getting them to a better place and you will be successful.
And that’s it for another episode of the sales experience podcast. Thank you for listening.
Make sure to subscribe, rate review if possible. If you listen us on iTunes, please go into your iTunes app or the iTunes store and rate the show and leave a review. I would appreciate that very much. Plus it would help other people who are looking for great podcasts to find this as a resource.
And remember you can always go to CutterConsultingGroup.com to find the transcripts, show notes, links as well as all the other episodes. And if you want to get in touch with me, if you want to talk about sales, if you want to build a different culture and a different result within your organization, if you run a business or you manage a business, please get in touch with me via the cutterconsultinggroup.com website or LinkedIn.
And if you’re a salesperson, make sure to check out my ebook and my project I’m working on, they’re in the sales training I have available. It’s HiQMethod.com. Check that out. Download the free ebook.
As always, we’ll end the episode with keeping in mind that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.