Don't Sell... Help.


This week, I turned to our team to discuss helpful advice to share with our customers and friends. Sara was quick to point out to me a simple platitude that comes with seriously deep discussion points. Said simply:

People don’t want to be sold. They want to be helped.

Amidst her time working in sales, Sara made it clear that the “…second the customers felt I was in sales pitch mode”, she’d be met with the uncompromising click of the receiver, and the all too familiar dial tone of disinterest. As with all great experience specialists… time, thoughtfulness, and an open ear became the keys to closing.

Say it’s time for you the buy a car. You pull into the lot at a dealership carrying something you like. You grab your cellphone, adjust your shirt, and step out of your car. Imagine a sales associate immediately greeting you, foaming at the mouth, barking “Here to buy a car, pal?” Every instinct you have now screams to slam your door and peel away. And while I’m ramping the pitch up to 11 here, the feelings remain the same. At any point during a test drive, discussion of your trade in, or approaching financing… the millisecond you feel pitched at is the millisecond your brain sets off in fight or flight mode.

People don’t want to be sold. They want to be helped.

The single greatest car purchase I ever made happened so nonchalantly, it didn’t even register to me I purchased the vehicle until I was transferring my fuzzy dice (yes, I have a pair. They are Chicago Bears dice, and they’ve been with me for every car I’ve ever owned). The sales associate as I recall politely greeted me when I made my way to the showroom floor. He gave me space to mill around, but was careful to show me where to nab him when I had a question. He was polite. Non-aggressive. Every question he asked me revolved on solving my problems. Eventually, against ever bare-knuckled negotiation tactic I’d been bred to use, I blurted out the price I wanted to pay. The salesman nodded in agreement and closed the deal without even putting paper in front of me. “Well, I’m going to go to the back with my finance manager, and we’ll beat that.”

Now, let’s turn that deal around and look at your business. No matter what you sell, if you’re utilizing an associate to move it… you’re in the sales business. We all know that famous line from Glengarry Glen Ross (“Always be closing.”), and the instinct then is to push pressure as the means to the end. But as Sara denoted above:

People don’t want to be sold. They want to be helped.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. No matter how they landed at your business – be it from a cold call from an inside sales team, an inbound lead from a web-form or social media post, or even someone literally walking through your front door – the only question that should be on your mind is how can I help them? Our transaction-based culture can be broken down into very basic principles. We are constantly either buying or selling something; be it a product, service, or even in the case of this blog… selling piece of mind couched in useful advice. The key to a successful sale is to identify a problem, and make it your business to solve that problem. When you think of your bottom line in terms of who did we help, and how do we do it, you remove the pressure from closing. Either you’re in a position to help them (ca-ching!) or you’re not (it’s their loss).

With that being said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t turn now to DreamCSXHelping people is inherent to our success. The only thing we can sell truly, is the ability to help our clients realize their goals by solving their problems and enabling their dreams.


How can we help you today?