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sales as serviceServe, Don't Sell

I recently saw someone pose this question on a business website: "What's the best business advice you've ever been given (and taken)?"

Thanks to some really amazing teachers, mentors, coaches, I have gotten a lot of great advice that has helped me with successfully growing my business (when I implemented it!). But as I contemplated this question, I narrowed it down to a few top ideas. Interestingly, most of them have been mindset shifts, vs. marketing/business strategies.

The one that I'm going to share with you today is what you see in the quote photo: Think about sales as service. 

This shift changed so much for me and my business.

Instead of thinking "How can I sell my services this person?’ my focus became “How can I serve this person?” When I approach my “sales” conversations now, they're all about asking specific questions then listening and seeing if there’s a good fit between what they need/want and what I can provide. And that it is different than other things they might have already tried to create the outcome they're looking for.

If so, then I share with the person how I can do that, and why I feel it can work better for them than what didn't work before. Let's face it–don't we become wary, gun-shy and hesitant when we bought something that we hoped would be the solution to our problem but it didn't work or didn't last? And with each "failed attempt" we become more protective of our time, efforts, trust & money. We become "sales-resistant."

But when we sense someone is coming from the energy of trying to find a way to serve our needs (vs. theirs), we are more open.

I also have a goal of determining if I want to work with that person. My business is stable enough now that I can pick and choose who I want to work with. If I sense that I would have to expend too much effort to help someone, that their problem doesn't fit my expertise and gifts, that they are not as invested in their change as I would be, or that they show signs that they do not fit the characteristics of my ideal client (e.g., a generally positive personality, see the value of my services, are coachable, are willing to put the work in, have enough computer capabilities, etc.), then I'm not going to recommend working with them. That's right–I'll turn them down!

However, if I don't feel like I can or want to accept them as a client, I’ll do my best to refer them to something/someone that seems like a better fit so they have a next step option to follow up on and not stay stuck without a possible solution. Then I’m truly serving that person and not selling them. It's about them, not me.

Even if I “lose the sale” by referring elsewhere, they remember my honesty and genuine desire to help them get what they want/need, so they'll often refer others to me or at least talk well of me. Sometimes they'll even post something on social media or my customer review page about my honesty and willingness to suggest other options and resources. So, it’s always a win-win.


Practice this shift in how you are thinking the next time you are talking with someone in a networking or social situation, or in a "service conversation."

See how you can become curious about what they might need and if it's related to what you can provide. Make the conversations "them focused" vs. "me focused" by asking questions. Only suggest a "next step" with you (deeper conversation, offer of your services) if you feel it could be a good 2-way fit. If not, offer some other resources that could be. 

Do you need help asking for or conducting effective and authentic win-win service conversations to get more clients, help more people, and make more money?  Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me 
to identify what practical and mindset tactics you are missing and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can make a difference in more lives and have a profitable business doing it!

Your partner in success,

Lisa Smith
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach
~Inner, Outer & Higher Resources for a Profitable Business~

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