By Jim Cathcart
How do you convince a customer that you care about them and the value they will receive?
The most convincing thing you can do is to truly care. Sounds simple, even simplistic – doesn’t it? I once heard a theater director say, “Once you can fake sincerity, then you’ve got it made.” I so strongly disagree!
It may be good for actors, but not for sales professionals. People know when you’re not genuine. They can feel it even when they don’t realize what clues tipped them off. Malcolm Gladwell called this sensing a product of “thin slicing.” That is when we perceive microscopic messages via changes in behavior or contradictory body language and we “know” – from that thin slice of information – that something’s amiss.
How to Cultivate a Caring Mindset
There are ways you can proactively become more caring. You can learn to stimulate the concern for others. Here’s how:
- Stop putting money at the top of the goals list. Let money be a measure of your success, not the success itself.
- Seek to help people profitably. That’s not a play on words; it’s a difference in what you are seeking to do.
- Celebrate the ways in which you help people. Tell the success stories and congratulate the salespeople who have made a difference for others. What drives us is the meaning of what we do, so communicate it!
- Change the metrics you track to include customer value delivered and not only the monetary measures. Money counts, but only as proof of the value you’ve delivered.
- Talk openly about what you do for people; discuss ways to help them even more.
The more you craft a culture of doing good for people, the more your team will be self-motivated to make it happen. People are rarely motivated by dollars. Only when they see meaning in the money do they change their behaviors. Regularly tell stories of who you helped – and encourage your team to share their stories.
The essence of culture is communicated via stories. What’s your story?
I was once asked, “Can you teach my people to be strong closers?” I answered, “Yes, but I won’t. That’s not what you need if you want more sales. ‘Strong closers’ are power driven and customers fear and resent them. If you want more sales, show your salespeople how to clearly show people the value of doing business with you. ‘Closing’ is the product of someone wanting to buy.”
People don’t care what you have to say until they are sure you care about them.
Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE, is a Top 1% TEDx speaker and the author of 18 books. He’s the sales consultant and motivator who popularized the concept and practice of “Relationship Selling.” Contact him at Cathcart.com. Jim is a regular contributor to Selling Power and a certified Mindset Trainer. Contact Jim at Cathcart.com.