Serving vs. Selling

By March 7, 2014 Posts

People almost always are going to prefer to be served something rather than sold on it. When you are sold something, there is an expected amount to be paid for it; when you are served, however, there is not usually an expectation; it is up to you what amount is paid for the service or product served to you. It could be argued that you could make more in this respect, but how is that possible if you are more or less giving something away?

Sales Resistance

When people are being sold to, there is often a feeling of bombardment and invasion of personal space. When you’re out shopping, one of the last things you want in your face is a sales associate trying to push the latest pair of jeans your way. That feeling of bombardment even goes as far as billboards and other advertisements; 65% of people reported to feel that way (Yankelovich Study).

What also concerns people who are being sold to is actually the potential practices and motives of those behind the advertisements, or the salesman trying to sell them that pair of jeans. They feel like they are just being pitched to, rather than having a positive interaction.

Those who try to create a significant moment, or a rewarding client relationship are going to make that sale, because the person feels welcomed and positive about the whole experience. They feel more control of the situation; as J. Walker Smith said, “The era of consumer resistance and control has begun.”

Benefits / The Power of Serving

When it comes down to it, just about any interaction is going to go exponentially smoother when it’s between people who know and trust one another. There is an actual relationship in tact that benefits both people; there’s a true sense of value in existence.

People who make themselves a ‘trusted advisor’ for the person they are serving are going to make many more sales than those who just pitch an idea of a product to someone. Customers feel that value you are placing on them and the business you conduct with them, and their feelings about you and your business are going to be so positive—you will have a loyal client.

Principle of Reciprocity

6 key principles of influence were introduced in Robert B. Cialdini’s 1984 book on marketing, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. A few of those principles include:

When you give, people want to repay you. Basically, people are typically not just going to take from you and walk away. Giving and taking is a reciprocal relationship, one in which people are happy to give back to you; kind of like karma when you think about it.

‘Givers’ have more influence that the rest who approach you. Those who are willing to give you something not only truly want your trust and your attention, but their generosity is a huge contributor to the type of person they are. They would much rather you get what you want rather than sell you something for the sake of themselves.

To build on that principle, people are going to trust givers more than they will trust takers. People who take without giving back are more than likely going to be extremely selfish, and in no way care about their client, just the sale itself.

How to Make Serving Work for You

Through these principles and embracing serving others, you are giving yourself the opportunity to ask the questions many others don’t ask; you’re going to find out so much more effectively what your clients actually want. You will provide some of the best customer service they have ever encountered, and they’ll love you for it. The value that you will bring to their experience will not easily be countered by others.

Serving also gives you the opportunity to find out who it is you are serving, and to build a relationship with that person. You’ll connect with them on more levels than just a business interaction.

Furthermore, by giving them a little something to part with will not only remind them later on down the road of their positive experience with you, but it’s just such a nice thing to do! People love gifts, even if it is just a sample serving of something, they will remember that later on and come back to you.