Company vs. consumer
Sales often pits the company against the consumer instead of creating a mutual collaboration to find the most beneficial outcome for each party. The sales rep and the consumer are both in it to walk away with the better half of the stick for themselves. It’s as if one side has it out for the other and is masked with smiles and small talk. You can’t blame either side, as that’s what the marketplace has created--a lack of trust and transparency. The reality is that if both parties made a collaborative effort, they’d each walk away with the best deal from the transaction.
The two most common philosophies are transactional and relational sales, but these strategies only go so far to empower the consumer to make an informed decision. In most cases, the sales person is far more educated on the product or service being sold. As the saying goes, “The person with the experience ends up with the money and the person with the money ends up with the experience.” This speaks to the salesperson being given the leverage and control to dictate the consumer’s buying pattern as the salesperson directs the knowledge that leads to the buying process. This scenario, in large part, is designed for the salesperson to win.
When relational sales meets complete transparency, the customer wins
As a LIME Advisor, selfless service and genuine heart-led intent define the character of our sales force. In fact, we have a culture of service as opposed to sales, because with a genuine effort to serve the client’s best interest, sales will follow. It’s an ideology of being great at finding the best quality solutions instead of making the sale. As a sales force, if the role is to be a consultative Advisor, there is a large responsibility to be genuinely invested in finding the best case solutions for the consumer. Since each situation is different, each solution is intentionally worked out per that particular customer’s needs and wants.
As a leader in the high-end paint market, our expertise is sought after by consumers who trust us to make recommendations that result in quality. To that end, integrity and trust are expected. However, simply trusting in our sales force isn’t enough. Our advising process is heavily focused on educating the consumer, or, as we call it, training the customer’s eye. We want our clients to see the project the way that we do. It’s important for them to understand how their coating system works based on their custom home. By investing the time to educate our clients, they can then make an informed decision and hold our quality of service accountable as they now have a trained eye.
What is educational sales?
Educational sales is the effort that a salesperson makes to educate a consumer on what he doesn't know. After all, no one can know all things. As the service expert, our job is to be the trusted authority. And, as the trusted Advisor, our job is to have the client’s best interest in mind. By combining those two principles, it results in educational sales that is designed to fully lay out the client’s options so that he can be a better consumer.
At LIME, we begin by training the client’s eye to look at his home the way a LIME Advisor would. Then the client is educated on how his coating system should be applied and what products should be used, and as a result of our thorough due diligence, we can lay out the best products to use based on the custom home’s weathering patterns. In addition, clients are given a high level overview of all of their home’s coating needs, as they don’t know what they don’t know. The preparation to this customer advising process is the assessment phase of a consultation, in which a LIME Advisor assesses the home for needs and solutions.
Educational sales cultivate a brand trusted by clients
Because we created a customer-centered sales model that is service-focused and fully transparent, clients experience a service that is unlike any other. In fact, within the contracting industry, the expectation is quite the opposite as a lack of integrity and selfish motives rule the day. However, this rule of thumb for sales etiquette is more the norm regardless of the industry or sales context (i.e., transactional or relational).
As an organization set out to raise the status quo within not only the paint and contracting industry, but also the sales industry in general, LIME is committed to revolutionizing what it means to interact with a company’s brand ambassador--the sales force.
Have you ever interacted with a transactional or relational salesperson versus an educational salesperson? What do you think of educational sales being the sales method of the future?