- Don’t focus on the sale – instead, help buyers want to buy
- Make the sale less about you and your service; make it all about them
- Always remember, we are their partner, not their sales person
I came across an interesting concept the other day while reading “The New Economy of Buyers” by Bob Urichuck. This white paper flipped some of the traditional sales notions on their head. It argues that this “new economy” has experienced a shift away from actual sales. Instead of focusing on the end result of how many sales we have and what we need to do to close, we should be focusing on the buyer. In essence, we should listen to what people need and want, rather than prematurely telling them “I got what you need.”
When our ears are open and our mouths are closed, we are better equipped to absorb what our potential clients are actually saying to us. Yes, we are the experts and they will look to us for advice on rates, loan products, the application process, etc., but the New Economy of Buyers goes a step further. What if, instead of selling, we refocused our energy on attracting, engaging and empowering buyers to feel compelled to buy?
If it sounds like I’m saying “heads I win, tails you lose,” let me explain. A sales person has a product or service they want to sell. That is their goal. Who buys it isn’t necessarily important to them…as long as the product moves. What’s important to them is their end-of-day/month/year sales figures that show they sold X amount of products and dollars. Okay. That works. To some degree. But this is a very transaction-based scenario. The focus is on the product and the closing. The person behind the paperwork is irrelevant.
This should never be the case. If we focused less on our agenda, what we want to pitch and the numbers we want to hit, it frees us up to understand what the decision-makers (buyers) really want. This starts by appreciating the fact that buyers are, indeed, the decision-makers. They are in control of their own lives, finances and happiness. We are there to play a supportive (but nevertheless vital) role in their financial future. We can’t do that if we’re simply sales people. So, give up control. Let them take the reins. Listen. Appreciate. Ask Questions. Then respond.
We are always on our borrowers’ sides, but this can get lost in the fray if the meeting is focused around a sales pitch. In this instance, the buyer leaves with only the knowledge of your specific service and rate. They’re well aware you know nothing about them and give little thought to the fact they have a large life to get back to once they walk outside your office doors. How much more successful would you be if you waded through what they find important before settling on a strategy that will place them in a position of empowerment? When you take the relationship from buyer-seller or service provider-customer to supportive partner, the dynamic shifts, trust is built and clients can truly see your value. Our value lies in increasing their value – and that’s not just monetarily. Our commodity lies in truly arming our clients with the tools necessary to lead their best lives.
Look, we’re not Oprah and we’re not saving the world. But owning a home, remodeling a home or acquiring an investment property are all massive decisions to many Americans. These decisions have the potential to determine the direction of their lives for years, if not decades, to come. Be a trusted partner who builds confidence through service, not a used car salesman who simply wants to move another Fiat.