Usually, after a sales call, we ask ourselves, “Did I accomplish my objectives?” (That is if you assess yourself after the sales call.)

It’s a critical question, we need to be purposeful and focused in each of our meetings with the customer. At the same time, it’s self-centered—we sales people tend to be very self-centered focused on our goals, rather than the customers’.

Perhaps there are a couple of more important questions:

  • What did the customer learn as a result of this meeting/call?
  • What value did we co-create in this meeting?

If the customer isn’t learning anything, if we aren’t co-creating value in each interchange, then we are wasting time! While we may be accomplishing our objectives, we aren’t helping the customer move forward in achieving their goals.

Often, we forget. Customers are just as time poor as we are. Unless they are in procurement, the “buying journey” is a diversion to their day jobs and what each person is accountable for. So they shouldn’t have much time or patience with buying.

Customers figured this out a long time ago. They are driven to use their time more effectively, as a result, they seek alternatives to dealing with sales people. Where they used to learn from us, they are self educating through digital channels. They are learning, developing their thinking, consequently, deferring engaging sales people to as late and as little in the process as they can.

But what would happen, if we started changing our approach? What if we start evaluating our success and progress through the buying/selling process not just on our goal attainment, but on what the customer has learned and the value created in each interchange.

Now the dynamic has shifted entirely to be focused on the customer and helping them move to their goals as effectively as possible. As a result, we move to achieving our goals more quickly and effectively.

At the end of each meeting ask yourself—and perhaps even ask the customer:

  • What did the customer learn as a result of this interchange?
  • What value did we co-create in this meeting?

It will change everything!

SOURCEPartners in Excellence
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Dave Brock
Dave Brock is the founder of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a consulting and services company helping to improve the effectiveness of business professionals with strategy development, organizational planning, and implementation. Dave has spent his career working for and with high performance organizations, ranging from the Fortune 25 to startups, including companies such as IBM, HP, Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, General Electric, and many, many more. The work Dave does with business strategies is closely tied to personal effectiveness of the people in the organization. As a result, Dave is deeply involved in the development of a number of training and coaching programs.

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