Brian offered what appeared at first glance to be a great deal on an advertising opportunity. As we talked he described the results that advertising with him would bring for the business. The more we talked the more I got that uneasy feeling about Brian. This feeling intensified as the call wrapped up and he began applying the high pressure sales techniques that give salesmen a bad name. No wonder his customer turnover was so high. The secret to life-long customers is authentic salesmanship.
Win-Lose is essentially about creating a winning situation for the seller and a losing situation for the buyer. This is a recipe for a lousy reputation and zero repeat business. Think stereotypical used-car salesman. With no personal integrity you’d better check the fine print when dealing with shysters like this because they will say anything to close the sale. As my Daddy used to say, “they are long on promise and short on delivery.”
In Brian’s case, he let slip that his average customer retention was 6 months. Rather than be embarrassed about this, he was actually proud of this as though 6 months was long time. If the delivery lived up to what was promised, his customers would stick around for a lot longer.
Win-Win is about helping the customer. The customer has needs. Authentic salesmanship is about identifying how you as the seller can best provide the solution to the customer’s needs in such a way that both parties win. It is about providing genuine value. Not trying to shoe-horn customers into a solution that isn’t in their best interests. When you provide high value to your customers they will come back for more and they will refer their family and friends to you as well. This is how you create life-long customers.
Authentic salesmanship is about creating such value for your customers that they thank God for having you in their life. This approach serving your customers is worth the effort involved. It is worth it when you see your past customers and they are glad to see you. It is worth it when you lay your head on your pillow at night and know that you’ve genuinely helped your customers that day with their needs. It is worth it when you track your sales and see how much business comes in from repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals.
Real success in business comes as a result of truly serving your customer’s needs. This is what authentic salesmanship is all about.