Change your mindset blocks

From customer service to marketing to product development, the job of selling is no longer confined to those people working within the sales organization. But just because leaders are on board with the notion than “everyone is in sales,” that doesn’t mean everyone is comfortable with taking on that role.

What Does Mean To Have A Sales Mindset?

For many people, “sell” is still a four-letter word—and definitely not something they want to be associated with. Who can blame them, really. People’s view of selling has been shaped for years based on what they see portrayed in the media and also from personal sales experiences they’ve had themselves. And that’s a shame, because true sales professionals create immense value for their customers.

Shifting that view of selling has been at the heart of our work at Integrity Solutions for over 50 years. And as anyone with customer experience responsibilities already understands, getting to know what your customers want and being able to fulfill those needs is fulfilling and purpose-fueled work. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

The issue, then, is really about mindset. What does it mean to be in sales (or, at least, to have some degree of sales responsibility)? What is it that customers truly want? And more specifically, “How do we change our mindset from this is a sale we’re doing TO someone to this is a service we’re doing FOR someone?” This was the basis for our recent Mental Selling podcast discussion with Bobbi McVey-Blath, owner of Level Up Facilitation Group.

Customer Service Sales Mindset - Bobbi McVey-Blath
Bobbi McVey-Blath

This kind of mindset shift will enable everyone within the company to comfortably and confidently adopt a role in selling—and bridging that gap between the two will have a huge, positive impact on the customer experience.

Let’s take a closer look at this combined sales/service mindset and how you can help non-salespeople deliver even more value to your customers.

Changing Mindsets About Sales

It’s true that the word “sales” comes with a lot of baggage, conjuring up images of the stereotypical fast-talking huckster, manipulating people into buying things they don’t even want or need. Unfortunately, training and internal processes often reinforce this negative mindset of what it means to sell.

A primary focus on traditional selling skills and processes that emphasize “pushing products” over solving problems and building relationships can leave people with the impression that sales is something you to do to the customer, not for them. If you’re all about the customer experience, this approach goes against everything you believe in and care about.

What if, however, you defined selling as identifying and filling needs people have and creating value for them?

Imagine if your customer service professionals described their jobs not just as, “I’m here to serve customers” but also as, “I can serve customers better by identifying additional needs they have.”

To begin this sales mindset shift, every employee should ask themselves:

  • Am I clear about my purpose?
  • Who, specifically, are my customers?
  • What are their expectations?
  • How can I exceed those customer expectations?

These are the roots of productive sales conversations and strong relationships, regardless of whether you’re selling and serving an internal or an external customer. When sales is positioned in this context, it becomes clear how closely aligned it is with customer experience. Your people will ask better questions, dialogues will go deeper, and customer loyalty can and will rise.

Moving Up The Customer Value Curve

Part of this sales mindset shift is about rethinking the focus of the sales role. There are three common areas of sales focus:

Transaction-focused mindset

In a transaction-focused role, we’re look for efficiency and accuracy. That’s it.

For example, let’s say you work as a bank teller and a customer comes to your lobby window. They want to make a deposit. Your job is to make the deposit, hand over the receipt and wish them a nice day. You’re done… But did you meet every need that customer has? Do they feel like they received unique value from you? Probably not… This sort of mindset is how commoditization grows and makes customer loyalty elusive.

Product-focused mindset

In a product-focused role, we look for mass product movement.

To continue the banking example, let’s say your boss asks you to sell 20 more debit cards this month compared to last month. This means you need to push 20 cards on 20 customers every day until you hit your goal (regardless of their stated needs). This may be an annoying tactic, but it’s not evil or bad. But it’s also not likely to create any kind of long-term customer loyalty.

Customer-focused mindset

In a customer-focused role, we look for providing exceptional service and an exceptional overall customer experience.

Now you’ll be asking key questions from the outset to learn what your customers’ specific needs are. You’re approaching the conversation from a place of genuine curiosity rather than selfish interests. You’re going to find out what the customer could benefit from. What do they need or desire? Is it convenience? Time savings? Security or risk mitigation? Cost savings? How can you make that better for them?

Changing that focus not only creates more value for your customers, it also eliminates much of the internal resistance non-sales professionals might have about fulfilling their selling responsibilities.

Having A Sales Mindset Equates To Being Customer Service Focused

Ultimately, the more we serve and fill the needs of others, the more meaning we enjoy. The more meaning we enjoy, the more engaged and committed we are to customer service and the more we will achieve for ourselves, for the company and for our customers. It’s all part of why we say sales is one of the most rewarding and noble professions you can be in — whether it’s in your job title or not.

Tune in to our insightful conversation with Bobbi McVey-Blath for more on:

  • How a key mindset shift can teach us to embrace sales
  • The role of integrity and trust in both customer experience and employee experience
  • Retaining and training employees during the Great Resignation

Raise your Mental Selling acumen with us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, on our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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Integrity Solutions

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