A sales professional we’ll call Rick works in the credit card merchant services industry. He wrote to me with the following concern.
Bob, I read your and John’s Go-Giver books a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. I’ve been in sales professionally since 2006. I’ve really wanted to make a difference and have fun in prospecting and developing business. The ‘fun’ part has eluded me most of the time.
I want to be a giver and I am revisiting your material to see how I can apply your philosophy to my career in merchant services. I work for a fantastic company that I believe in and I thought I would pick your brain! Here are two questions I’d like to ask:
- How do I apply your strategies without abandoning my companies recommended way of growing my customer base?
- Would you say your strategies can be effective in any industry or only certain industries?
My response: Rick, thank you for your kind words about the books. And, thank you for writing. I’m not sure I understand your first question. And, not knowing your company’s way of doing business, I’d first need to ask, “are the Go-Giver principles discussed in the books contrary to how your company is recommending you grow your customer base?”
Regarding the second question, the answer is yes, so long as your business operates in a basically “free-market” environment. By that, I mean your prospective customers are not forced to do business with you. As a result you must communicate to them why they will find more value in doing business with you than in not doing so.
That being the case, yes, these principles work in any industry.
Bob, thanks for your reply! I don’t think it’s contrary; it’s just that it’s focused on cold calling and closing in the first appointment, which seems contrary to your approach to business.
My response: Cold-calling is a very legitimate part of business. While certainly not as effective as working with referred customers, when there’s no other option (at least for now) then that is the way to go. There’s certainly nothing inherently “contra go-giver” about cold-calling.
And, regarding a one-call close, it’s the same. Remember, a sale, whether it’s one-call or multi-call is simply a matter of communicating value to the person in such a way that they understand they are receiving more in use value than what they are paying.
When that’s the case they will buy from you whether it’s one call or after many calls. By the same token, if they never feel they are receiving sufficient value in exchange for what they are paying or otherwise exchanging, they will never do business with you whether it’s after one call or after many calls.
If you equate a one-call close with pressuring the person then that would indeed be contrary to selling The Go-Giver Way. Of course, if you pressure someone after the fifth call, that’s still contrary to The Go-Giver Way.
The biggest challenge with a one-call close is that you’re going to have to — within that one call — establish the rapport (developing the know, like and trust feelings toward you), and ask the right questions so they tell you exactly what they are looking for. Then, assuming you effectively communicate (meaning, they understand) that the benefits of your service can fulfill their wants, needs and desires, the sale will occur.
The Go-Giver is all about focusing on bringing value to others. Do that and you will prosper greatly in your business.