Focus on Earning a Long-Term Relationship, Not Making the Sale

In my Daily Dose video series, I explore the topics that chief customer officers must grapple with on a daily basis. Join me as I discuss what I’ve learned over the course of my 35-year career, so that you can more effectively do the work that needs to be done.

Today’s video is an excerpt from my online course, inspired by my book, Would You Do That To Your Mother? Click here to learn more about the course and enroll. 

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.

Would you make your mom sit in a windowless room for hours, providing information that is confusing, unclear, and a little bit frightening? Would you push her to an extended warranty? Offer fuzzy math on her trade-in and unclear information on how you calculated her monthly payment? No.

Make the Right Choice: Focus on Earning Growth

How companies approach some purchases is a reflection on the values guiding the organization. And there’s a choice to be made here. A company can focus on making the sale or on earning a long-term relationship. Make Mom Proud companies work to replace tactics with establishing a relationship with customers; they aim to guide rather than hide; they educate customers with facts, which they clearly lay out for them so customers can make informed decisions. So work to earn the relationship. Don’t make that sale.

[Get 3 downloadable resources to help you earn customer-drive growth.]

Think about your life as a customer and the last complicated purchase that you made. If you were clearly and openly guided to options and the pros and cons of each, you were left with the feeling not only about what you purchased, but you also felt good about the people who guided you through that purchase.

But if you were offered packages that you couldn’t un-bundle or kept scratching your head, trying to do the math or make the deal make sense. You probably felt differently, a lot different. If you’ve ever had a sale experience that you just want to be over you know what I mean.

Now, think about your sales and your customer contract experience and ask yourself, “Would your mom feel good about how you sold her something?”


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Take the Fear Out of the Experience

What’s interesting is that these complicated purchases are so important in our lives. We save for them, we plan for them and we anticipate them. You can take steps to avoid giving customers fear that sometimes creeps into these experiences, and you can work to take that out of the equation.

When you choose sales tactics, it sets the tone for how employees and how the organization respects customers, and it may condone treatment and define the kind of company you are in a manner that customers don’t generally gravitate toward. Sales tactics may get you the sale once, but respect, transparency and guidance will earn a customer in both their advocacy and their growth.

The Make Mom Proud companies know that having their customers agree to something they were not aware of is not how they will grow long-term. They guide rather than hide. They open up, they lead their customers to solutions, right for them. They invest in earning that relationship and not making or getting the sale.

#MakeMomProud companies guide, rather than hide. They invest in earning that relationship and not making or getting the sale. Click To Tweet


How do we cut through the rigmarole of business to give customers the treatment they desire, and employees the ability to deliver it?

In her latest book, customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss recommends making business personal to get the traction you need by focusing on one deceptively simple question: “Would you do that to your mother?”

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