Monday, March 07, 2005

Give to Get Back

I just read an article about Miuccia Prada, the men's clothing designer in the March issue of GQ. She said "Everybody wants love for themselves. I hear this all the time from the women I work with. I hear them say "I want, I want", I never hear them saying what they want to give." Now you might be thinking, great Laurie, I thought this was a sales blog, how does a fashion designer talking about women's love lives have to do with me and selling? Good question. Well, in the 18 years I have been training sales consultants I generally hear" I want more sales, I want more customers" and like Ms Prada I rarely hear what the salespeople want to give.

The more we think about what we have to offer, our value proposition, the more successful we will be. What sets you apart? What are you willing to do to make your customers life better or easier? What are you willing to give your customer. This giving can and should take the form of community involvement, volunteer work or just plain going the proverbial "extra mile" for your customer.

Customers are egotists (as we all are) and they want to know "what's in it for them?" Your job is to let them know what you are willing to give. It could be your time, your expertise, your understanding of their unique needs and wants.

So the next time you encounter your customer think to yourself "what am I going to GIVE this customer", "NOT what do I want from them?" Let me know if it makes a difference!


Keith C. said...

Dear Laurie,
I've been participating in some of your IDL courses for GM. You are an asset to that organization. I've thoroughly enjoyed your sessions. Sorry I haven't faxed in a more in-depth evaluation. But, let me just say good job! The timing of your "Give to Get Back" sales tip is great. I've been in sales for 10 years and if there was one thing I wish I would have been working on this whole time is creating value. You're very good at that, thank you. Keith

Magna750 said...


You're so right---what a great concept. This really makes me stop and think. Especially since I believe that part of my USP is the service I offer---the "what I give." Am I staying focused on that or have I fallen into the trap of "I want"?

Thanks for making me stop and evaluate.