We all know that sales is really all about “closing the sale.” There is not a salesperson alive who does not use a variety of techniques to help them be successful with customers. However, I believe passion is the most underrated and underutilized sales tool in our arsenal, because it is too hard to measure and no one has found an effective way to teach it.
Why don’t more people use passion to their advantage? It’s simple. Passion exists in those who are humble, focused and unlikely to advertise their expertise.
Passion is an effective sales tool because it isn’t artificial and can’t be faked for a long period of time. It is displayed in people who genuinely care and are willing to take the time to serve their customers in whatever manner is necessary. If your mindset is not to compassionately serve people, you can stop reading because the rest of this article is not for you. If you do have a willingness to serve and demonstrate concern, then continue reading.
Passion in sales is evident when the salesperson takes the time to listen to their customer and attempts to really understand what it is they are looking for. It is displayed not only in the questions that are asked, but also in the tone of voice and body language the salesperson uses and the follow-up demonstrated after the sales call.
Salespeople who have passion are able to create long-term profitable relationships with their customers. They also routinely benefit from referrals by their existing clients and, on many occasions, these prospects come to them ready to buy.
It’s ironic to note that the individual characteristics that reveal passion are also the same characteristics that are demonstrated by many top-performing salespeople. However, without passion resulting in a steady supply of new prospects, their status at the top is short-lived.
Before you rush out to practice your body language and tone of voice in an attempt to find passion, let me add the secret ingredient: heart. Passion comes from a genuine belief of wanting to help the customer in both good times and bad. It is at its truest form when things are not going well for either the salesperson or the customer and the salesperson is still willing to serve first and sell second.
Don’t get me wrong: having passion does not mean you’re giving up profit indefinitely. It might mean you are sacrificing a little short-term gain, but when you are committed to having passion for your customers, you will achieve a higher level of long-term profit, not only from the customer you’re serving, but also from the referrals they bring you.
Passion can actually be measured in a couple of ways. Begin by asking yourself this simple question: “When the day is over and my customers are reflecting back on the people with whom they’ve interacted and the activities they’ve done, do they think of me in a positive light that contributed to them having a good day?”
It is important to consider whether your customers truly believe you are helping improve their day or simply contributing to the chaos of it. Another assessment tool is found in analyzing the number of referrals you get. Referrals are an accurate measurement of how your customers view you, even more than repeat business with a current customer. If they honestly believe in you, they recommend you to others. (Keep in mind, however, that if they don’t like you, they’ll still talk about you, just in a negative light).
Passion in sales is underrated. Therefore, your ability to genuinely care about your customers, to show an interest in them, and to serve them will determine your long-term sales success.
Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.” He is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects and close more profitable sales. To get a free weekly sales tip, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com. Read the first chapter of his instant-classic “High-Profit Selling” here.