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A simple sales secret: win by making people feel important

Article by Mark Keating (CEO Sales Guru)

It continues to amaze me that with all of the information and training available to companies and salespeople, they continue to believe that sales is still about getting in front of people and telling them about who they are, what they have to offer and why they are awesome.

I feel that a core fundamental is still being missed and it’s this: people don’t care about you, they care about themselves. So the starting point should be about making them feel important.

With all the long-winded company overviews and sales methodology I come across, this is still one of the simplest, cheapest and easiest ways to attract, retain and grow your customer base. Treat everyone you meet as if they have a sign around their necks that says “make me feel important”.

This is not about telling them you think their company is great or building rapport by asking about the golf photo on the wall, rather it’s about the first step in building trust.

It’s often stated that trust is the foundation to sales success and that you earn trust. The million dollar question is “how do you earn trust?” I have known some people for the past 20 years and still don’t trust them and probably never will, yet I have met some people and felt I could trust them after only five minutes, why is that?

Research has shown that trust is built on two key foundations:

1. Care

The starting point to building trust is by showing you have a genuine interest in the other person, and in sales, what is important to them – not you! This is done in the form of open questions about their interests, priorities, ideas, needs, and outcomes etc., and then listening.

2. Competence

Being professional and able to assist them in achieving their requirements.

The challenge is that far too often salespeople are still being “taught” that you build trust by leading with competence (both on the telephone and in person), and why you, your company, products and services are great.

Simply put, the old saying “people don’t care about what you have until they believe you care about them”, makes complete sense when it comes to selling.

I challenge you to make your engagements less about you, far more about them, and see that sign around their neck saying “make me feel important”.

Wishing you an awesome sales month.

Mark Keating is proudly associated with the NSBC.


See Mark Keating LIVE at Breakfast Connect sponsored by OUTsurance, hosted on 16 August 2019 at the Shimmy Beach Club, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. BOOK NOW. Tickets are extremely limited.