From Selling to Serving

saleseq May 31, 2024

As a salesperson, you're often perceived subconsciously—and usually negatively—by customers. This perception stems from years of exposure to stereotypical "bad sales behavior" (think used car salesperson tactics), which leads customers to believe that salespeople are merely trying to trick them into buying something they don't need. When they talk to you, their defenses are already up.

Understanding Customer Perception

Entering a conversation focused solely on your sales pitch, qualifying the prospect, booking the demo, or closing the deal reinforces these negative stereotypes. Your focus on these tactics not only affects the substance of your conversation but also your tone, often subconsciously aligning with the very stereotype you wish to avoid.

A New Approach: Empathy and Assistance

Instead of concentrating on your sales goals, shift your intention to genuinely helping your customer solve a problem. This approach will naturally adjust your tone and behavior in ways that are more inquisitive and customer-centric. Here’s how you can implement this mindset:

  1. Focus on Helping, Not Selling: Begin every conversation with the goal to assist. When you genuinely seek to understand and help, your dialogue becomes more engaging and meaningful. Instead of pitching, you’ll find yourself asking questions that matter—those that get to the heart of the customer's issues.

  2. Prioritize Their Needs Above Yours: Sometimes, helping a customer might mean not selling your product at all. If your discussions reveal that your solution isn't the right fit, directing them to another provider or even advising against a purchase puts their needs first. This builds trust and may lead to future referrals or opportunities, even if it doesn't result in an immediate sale.


  • Being intentional about adopting a helpful mindset.
  • Focusing on understanding and solving the customer’s problems.
  • Prioritizing the customer's needs over your immediate sales goals.

This mindset shift disarms the customer's natural defenses and enhances the overall experience, leading to better outcomes for both you and your customers. You might find that with this approach, you enjoy the art of selling much more.

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