Hello and thank you for visiting my blog.
A few years back our customers came up with a technique to quickly get rid of salesmen. In all of their adds they started writing “We don’t want to be contacted by salesmen”. We of course didn’t care and called them anyway.
We all got balled out by angry customers, that is until we learned how to counter it and it worked even better than expected.
When a customer would get angry and tell us that they didn’t want to talk to salesmen we would answer in a as angry tone “I’m not a salesman! I’m a consultant, here to help you!”
For some reason this really worked well.
I spent some time thinking why this worked. I had honestly expected our customers to just laugh at us and say “same shit, different name”.
But they didn’t, they respected us and really listened to our offers.
After, an embarrassing amount of, thinking I realized that it has to do with our subconscious view of a salesman vs. a consultant.
A Salesman only has one agenda, it is to make money. A salesman will do anything to get paid and has no respect for their customers or the quality of their product.
A Consultant helps, they are called in to fix a problem and do it with their customers best in mind. By doing their job well, they know they will be called in again and that is why they make money.
This is the reason people respect a consultant, you want to deal with a consultant because doing that will solve a bunch of troubles. A salesman only costs money.
Over time we have seen this has helped us, not only to become better salesmen but also to care and think about our product.
Were we used to act like salesmen and tried to make as much money as possible in as short time as possible, we now try to provide superior value and generate loyal customers.
What is interesting is that it has also proved to power the sales division has over the company. Our change in strategy has effected the whole organization and has lead to a increase in our marketing and product development budget by about 1000%.
This of course keeps our product getting better and our customers happier helping us salesmen to see the value of focusing on the customer. We are at the moment in a very positive cycle and hope to continue improving on this line for a long time.
It all started with the simple comment “I am not a salesman, I am a consultant!” and has lead to a much more effective company.
Not that bad for a small sales division in a large company.