Closing VS Helping
The world of sales operated with an ABC attitude for decades: Always Be Closing. Get the deal. Make the sale. Nothing else matters.
The Internet has changed this approach dramatically.
Before the Internet, sales faced an information handicap. It was more difficult to research pricing differentials and more challenging to find alternatives that would better meet customer needs. Therefore, closing a deal quickly made sense.
The major shift in approach we see now is based on the idea of selling what will best meet a customer’s need. Helping a customer to find the best price, the best product, the best solution for them. With this approach, we shift from ABC to ABH: Always be helping.
More than ever, sales must bring their A-Game. Why? Because customers can research alternatives for themselves online. Your product or services may be one of literally hundreds or thousands in your area. Therefore, building trust and becoming the ‘go to’ resource for your customers is what will seal the deal and make the sale and keep those customers coming back to you.
There is no more information handicap. Anyone in your company can learn about your customer’s industry. Their challenges. Their goals and priorities. These days your sales pitch can be tailor made to meet the core needs of each customer.
Having so much information at our fingertips is a game changer for sales.
But the ABH concept doesn’t just change our approach to sales nor is the sales department the only area that benefits. Always Be Helping changes the way we approach and engage with a customer … even in the area of credit and collections.
Truly helping a customer find the best solution to solving a debt means listening and engaging to uncover the core of the payment problem. Only then can you work together as a team to solve it. This is true of both in-house and third party collections. The more trust is built, the more information your delinquent customer is going to be willing to share. It’s a far more mutually beneficial approach than simply demanding money that’s owed.
But make no mistake; the Internet holds our feet to the fire. Honesty, integrity, and a good product will fare far better on Internet review sites than those who stick with the ABC approach. Customers who feel they’ve been helped will speak more highly of a business online than those who feel they’ve been sold.