Gina Blitstein Article
Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Sales as Service: An Effective Marketing Perspective

Sales as Service: An Effective Marketing Perspective

Marketing your business effectively can be a thorny subject. You don’t want to appear "salesy" pushy or manipulative, yet you want to get your message across in a relatable and compelling way. Techniques for marketing abound, whether in-person or online; no matter the how and where, they share a common purpose - to ultimately convert sales.

Further complicating the challenge of marketing is the fact that it is comprised of a set of skills that does not come naturally to everyone. Your products and/or services may be top-notch, but it may feel "wrong" to you on some level to put an offer in front of a customer in hopes they will make a purchase from you. It’s important to note, however, that much of the hesitant-to-market mindset is rooted in a flawed perspective on what sales actually is.

Rather than considering it to be a purposeful act of "convincing" the client to buy, sales can be thought of in a consulting capacity; as establishing a relationship and providing a service to the customer. The lifespan of a sale begins with a relationship in which you:

  • help the customer identify with a problem, a lack, a need, a desire
  • articulate what they need and demonstrate that you fully understand it
  • offer a solution to bring about their satisfaction, aka, sell your product or service to them

Think about the customer’s motivation - the ultimate reason they are in the market for whatever it is you sell in the first place. They are most likely not looking for a widget. They are looking to solve the problem that a widget will solve - but they don’t know that’s what they need. You make widgets and know that’s what they need - but they need to be educated to know that they need a widget before they will decide to buy. That’s where service enters the picture. The way you serve is you talk about how frustrating their problem is, teach them what a widget is, how it will solve their problem, and how to properly use the widget. They buy the widget and have been empowered by you to solve their initial problem. Service at its finest! There was no selling going on in that scenario - only service.

Looking at the situation from this perspective, you, through the sale, are serving the customer. You are not thrusting a product or service on them that they do not want or need. You are lending an outstretched hand that will help them to reach a goal, tackle an issue, or make something happen. They are experiencing a lack and you are filling that void with your offering.

Conceptualizing your "product" as a way of serving customers leads to a very organic transaction, based upon need and the fulfillment of that need. Think of a sale as the way your customer keeps up their end of the valuable relationship between you.

And it has the capacity, when based on such a transactional exchange, to become a long term relationship. The first sale lays a strong foundation for you to continue serving that customer well into the future. Trust, value and results have already been established so they will want to keep working with you. Since you know their business and the direction they’re headed, it makes sense that you continue creating offerings that support their success and growth.

You can see how, by taking on the perspective that selling is actually a service you’re providing to your clients, you’ve entered into a partnership relationship whereby you are both raised up when you conduct business together.

Selling to your customers need not feel like an arm-twisting ordeal. It can be experienced in an entirely different way when it is presented as a solution to a problem they are experiencing. All the "pressure" is relieved from the sales situation because you’re not selling so much as you are serving in the context of their growing needs.

How can you better serve - and retain - clients through sales?

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