By David Brock
As sales and business professionals, we’re intensely goal driven. We’re driven to attain and achieve, we want to win, we want to achieve our goals. At it’s most base form, our goals are to sell our products and services to make our numbers.
Likewise our customers are goal driven. They have their numbers and goals to achieve. Whether it’s developing a new product, improving manufacturing, improving operational efficiency, improving market share, improving the top or bottom lines, or anything else.
As sales people, too often the way we achieve our goals is totally incompatible with the customer’s interests and goals. We look for customers to buy our products and services, we pitch everyone that will listen to us. We try to persuade a prospect they need something and ours is the best something they can buy.
But too often, we face resistance. Our customers have different goals and objectives. There are very few with that share our goals–buying our products and services. So it’s difficult to get their attention, it’s tough for us to achieve our goals.
There’s a different approach. What if we had the same goals and objectives as our customers? What if our goals were perfectly aligned with the goals and priorities of our customers? So instead of selling our products and services, we focused on helping them develop a new products, improving manufacturing, improving operational efficiency, improving market share, improving the top or bottom lines, or anything else.
All of a sudden, we aren’t in that awkward tug of war, but we’re perfectly aligned and working together for the same purpose. The customer would be interested in seeing us and working with us, after all, we are trying to achieve the same thing–helping them achieve their objectives and goals.
Naturally, we’d have to be smart about who we helped. We’d have to find and work with customers who have the problems we solve. But when you think about it, it just makes sense. How could we help customers achieve their goals if they didn’t need our products and services? We’re wasting their time and ours.
It’s much easier to engage our customers when we are aligned with things they are interested in. When we share their goals, we are focused on what interests them. We create value when we help them achieve their objectives.
But when we start pushing our agenda, we run into trouble. We’re no longer aligned. Pressuring the customer for the order doesn’t help them achieve their goals–so why should they do anything?
How do you align your sales activities with the goals and objectives of your customers?