Commentary: Salespeople Should Believe in Products, Be Passionate About Customers

By Steve Keating

I always enjoy watching marketing people, well, good marketing people, talk about their products. They have a passion for them, and if they are truly good at what they do, it’s safe to say they actually love their products. It’s like their baby!

I’m especially interested in how they talk about their products to salespeople. They want the people selling their product to love it as much as they do. That’s where I’m pretty different from most marketers.

I don’t want salespeople to love their products; I want them to love their customers. Don’t get me wrong, I want salespeople to believe in their products enough to represent them with integrity. I want them to understand the value those products bring to their customers. I need them to understand how their products solve a customer’s issue. I literally want salespeople to feel it’s an honor to sell their products to people who will benefit from them.

But for long-term very successful salespeople, it’s not the product they are most passionate about; it is their customers. More specifically, they are passionate about helping their customers. They care enough for their customers to help them identify their greatest areas of need. Then they work to figure out if they have a product or service that can address that need.

Notice that I didn’t say that they care “about” their customer. Every business and salesperson cares about their customers. What I said was that long-term successful salespeople, and businesses for that matter, care “for” their customers. There is a big difference between caring about and caring for.

Today customer “care” has become something of a buzzword. Many customer service departments are now called customer “Care” departments. For many of those service departments, the name was the only thing that changed.

“Care” is much better as a verb. Some people use it as a noun but successful people, successful salespeople, successful leaders, and successful organizations, use it as a verb.

A verb, for those of you struggling to recall your days in English class, refers to an action. It will always be better to show people and customers that you care than it will be to tell them. I’m betting some of you are telling yourself right now that you care. I’ll bet some of you are reasonably sure other people know you care. I’ll also bet that many of you are hoping people, and your customers, know you care.

Don’t bet, don’t hope and don’t assume. Turn “Care” into a verb today and show someone, a loved one, a special co-worker or even a customer how much you truly care. It’s good business sense and it’s great people skills. So do it today!

Steve Keating has more than 30 years’ experience in
sales and sales management.

He speaks and writes on leadership, customer service, business management, and sales growth.
Follow his blog, Lead Today, at stevekeating.me