Help Your Customers First to Gain Permission To Sell

If you can help your customer first, they will be open to hearing what you have to sell.

Have you ever noticed what happens when you start selling someone without permission or trust? The tension in the air seems to thicken immediately. When you don’t have permission and you start selling prematurely, this is a violation. We don’t like to be sold or feel that we are being sold. Instinctively, many of us tighten up inside with defensiveness trying to ward off the perpetrator.

If you ever find yourself within this kind of situation, which is quite common in sales, back off immediately. The interaction is a predictable script with a predictable outcome. You have just set up your customer to say, “No”. 

If you have ever heard the old saying, “People don’t care what you have to say until they know you care,” then you can see the problem here. Selling comes second after there is trust that has been built. And what is it that the customer wants to feel before they even entertain any kind of sales pitch? They want to know you have their best interest in mind.

Of course this means you have to get inside their world and think about their problems. It means you have to empathize and have a way to help.

Think About Your Help Counter

I like to think about a help counter in my mind. It informs me about how much value I have brought to a person. If I have brought enough value then I have permission to ask for something. If not, then it would be inappropriate.

Your help counter can get ratcheted up when you have been able to help your customer solve problems. This means thinking about what can help them personally. Some customers want to know more about how to solve their present problems. Others want to get more productive with their work. Still others want to win more relationships to grow their business. There are many different things that are helpful to a customer. The key is to tune in and figure out how to help in a way that they acknowledge and recognize great value.

When you are able to bring this value then selling becomes much easier. There is not tension because you have built trust by providing selfless value first. Your help counter exceeded a threshold in your customer’s mind that gives you audience with them to ask for something more.

Ultimately, they trust you because they believe you can do what you claim and that you have their best interest in mind.

Share Your Knowledge To Win Their Hearts

When it comes to ways to be helpful, share your knowledge. This is best shared in professional and authoritative content that connects. You may not have permission or time to talk with all your prospects. Thus, having a platform to build content that they can refer to and share over time becomes a strategic way of helping your customers so you can sell.

Content has to be consistent so that your prospects know you publish and provide regular information. Furthermore, people are extremely busy these days with very little attention. If you continue providing content at regular intervals, and you are credible about what you publish, then you position yourself in the mind of the buyer over time. This builds trust and your brand becomes a shorthand when they are ready to have a conversation.

It takes a lot of work and persistence, but when you think about it, isn’t it easier to engage in selling after you build trust than before?

If so, then what kind of content would help your customers so you have permission to sell?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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