Just shut up and give me my beer.

So imagine that is has been a long day at the office, just one of those days where having a beer after work sounds really good.   So you go down to your local watering hole, take a seat at the bar, the bartender asks you what you will be having and you ask for your favorite brand of beer.  Instead of getting you your beer the bartender starts to excitedly discuss the newest brand of whiskey that is out and that you should really give it a try because it is really good.   You quickly dismiss this idea telling him you do not drink whiskey, but he barely acknowledges that you even spoke, and keeps on telling you all the great things about this new whiskey; the fabulous taste, the new aging process that is used, and of course the fantastic price which is way lower than all the competitors cost for a shot of whiskey, and of course don’t forget you can drink it straight, on ice, or mixed with your favorite mixer.  You tell him no thanks you’ll just take your beer.  But he just keeps rambling about this great new whiskey……

While I made this scenario up, this actually happens in sales every day in every industry, a sales person trying to sell a product and not listening to what the customer actually wants.  It does not matter how great your products and services are, the customer doesn’t care.   What they do care about is getting what they want, not helping you make your sales quota.  There is an age old rumor that the best sales people are the ones with the highest numbers, the most sales. False.  The best sales people are the ones that listen to what the customer is saying and then respond based on that conversation.  Giving the customer what they want, not what you think they want, or what you want to sell is what makes a good sales person and these sales people generally have the best numbers and the highest sales, not because they racked up a lot of sales in one particular month from a bunch of customers who are never going to come back again, but because they listened and gave the customer a solution based on their needs and these customers will continue to come back.  That is what good sales is all about.