Adversaries, What to Do and How to Spot Them

I’ve heard a saying “The customer is not stupid, the customer is your spouse” or “The prospect is not your enemy, the prospect is your fiance.” In other words, your customers and your prospects should be your friends. You should always strive to work together, to build trust, to make that win-win relationship we hear about.

There is no excuse for letting your sales work result in a large number of enemies, rather than a long list of allies. There is ridiculous advice floating around about how you need to beat up on a prospect before they beat up on you. That’s rude, unprofessional, and arrogant. Your prospect would really rather have you for a friend, someone they can depend on, someone they get advice from, someone who can help them. In return, you enjoy their business. Believe it or not, most customers like to reward the salespeople

they work with and want you to know you are appreciated.

The measure of a successful sale is how well you’ve matched a true need of a client with true benefits from the product or service you offer. If the sale you are about to take doesn’t measure up to these standards, maybe you should think twice about taking the sale and explore with your client whether you both are making the right decision.

Now for a warning. Are you the kind of salesperson that takes a sale once in a while that you weren’t sure was really in the customer’s best interest? Are you the one who has been thrown out of someone’s office a few too many times, or hung up on more than once a day? If that’s you, get some additional training very soon. Take a hard look at what you say, how you say it, and what the process is that leads to anger or frustration in yourself and your client. You will never really be successful until you adopt a much different attitude.

Now for the sales managers. Do you have someone on your staff that you suspect is in this category. Usually they’re easily recognizable from the fact that for the number of calls made, the numbers are way too low. Please take the time to spend a day on the road with them or sit behind them for a few hours and do some coaching. A person in this category represents your company. I’ve seen this so many times where a salesperson makes lots of calls, but the fact is that mostly, they are making enemies of a finite number of potential clients. Better get on this quick. Sorry, that may have come off as negative. If anyone is offended, please accept my apologies. This is a call to professionalism in your work as salespeople. Making an adversary of your client just promotes the used car salesperson mentality. This is a proud profession. Take pride in your work.