Service-Minded Selling sounds admirable until you are tested to choose between serving your client in a way that might cost you the sale. This week a sales rep (Jon) shared that a prospect was looking for a new system a year after their last purchase (systems usually last 5+ years). They were looking because they never received proper training and the system did not seem to be easy enough to use efficiently (employees did not like the system either). They liked the product Jon was presenting and he left with a request for a proposal.
A day later we were discussing the situation and he concluded he needed to put the deal at risk if he was to serve the prospect and uphold his position as a partner. He decided to assess their interest in receiving the proper training on their current system rather than buying a new one as a solution to their problem. If they said yes, he would be referring them to a competitor and jeopardizing his chances of selling a new system.
He made the call and it resulted in him referring the competition and hearing from the prospect how much they appreciated his approach and that they were still leaning toward his system and requested he bring out a demo. Needless to say Jon was relieved about the deal but also felt great about proving he holds a greater interest in the customer than in himself.
Service-Minded selling is not just a nice new phrase or catchy slogan; it is a way of selling and living. It is the opposite of what most people pre-judge in a sales person. It is what the majority of buyers are wanting in the market place. As the saying goes, if you help enough people get what they want you will get what you want.