Can you sell without selling?

I met an IT Engineer Manager at a Customer and Commercial Awareness day we were running for his company. He saw his department’s role primarily as the “face” of the company to their customers and his people as being in a prime position to increase the company’s sales.

His problem was that he was uncomfortable with the idea of intitiating any kind of “sales” conversation and didn’t feel he could get his team to do anything he wouldn’t take the lead in.

Yet he’s a personable chap who doesn’t come across as a shrinking violet. So we explored his problem a little more and established it was the whole mindset thing of “I’m going to try to sell this guy something” that was wrong.

I asked: “How would you feel about just checking out whether your customers had any IT problems that were affecting their ability to get on and run their businesses as well as they could and should be? How easy would it be to come up with twenty or thirty common issues that had frustrated other customers until you sorted them out for them?”

He’s no dummy yet that simple shift in the perception of what he could help his customers achieve rather than sell them something has enabled him to increase business (which makes his Managing Director happy) and solve previously unacknowledged problems (which makes his customers happy) yet operate well within his personal comfort zone (which makes him happy).

Sometimes all you need is a simple change of perspective… Just be on the alert for ways you can increase business yet stay within your personal comfort zone.

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