Doing Business the Right Way

By William F. Kendy

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” says sales consultant Michael Brizz.

Brizz feels that salespeople should try to create relationships so that the customers view them more as partners than as vendors. One way to do that is to look for unique chances to provide value to both the person and the organization. “Find out the challenges for the individual and the organization and then confirm them,” says Brizz. “Sit down and share your observations and brainstorm a little bit about solutions. Make sure you establish the fact that you’re not trying to sell the customers anything. You’re there to help them solve a problem or meet a challenge.

“The very act of sitting down and asking customers for confirmation of those issues demonstrates that you’re paying attention and have a sensitivity to what’s really relevant for them. Come right out and ask the question, ‘How can I help?'”

Just talking about a problem or challenge and offering solutions goes a long way in building reciprocity with prospects or customers. “If you follow up with a ‘How can I help?’ even if there’s really nothing you can do, customers appreciate your offer. They may feel you’ve already helped just by walking them through the situation,” Brizz notes. “If you can put them in touch with someone who may be able to help, that’s even better.

“People want to know that when they’re facing a challenge or when things don’t go well, they can count on you as a resource, even if the problem has nothing to do with what you sell. Look for the opportunity to demonstrate that you can go above and beyond. It’s your moment to shine.

“It’s all about the value you bring to the client,” concludes Brizz. “When you unselfishly help a customer, you distinguish yourself from other salespeople. Salespeople who do that get the majority of the business.”

Michael Brizz is president of the Center for Professional Achievement Inc., which specializes in teaching consultative selling and large-account sales. For information, call 1-800-865-2867 or visit