Serve Not Sell Mentality – Creating Employee Buy In

Serve Not Sell Mentality - Creating Employee Buy In

Let’s look at creating employee buy in to the Serve Not Sell mentality. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you may be familiar with the saying around Tony Hoty Consulting- “Serve not sell” While anyone could gain an idea of what we mean, I want to explore another context that I believe is entirely overlooked in our industry and many other sales and marketing organizations out there.

The principle of serve not sell means that if we put all our eggs in the “helping to solve the customer’s problem” basket vs the “here’s my product and you should buy it” basket, we will be more successful in the long run while creating an even better consumer experience.

How this can be utilized to grow your organization at scale, is by lacing this concept into your training and recruiting processes. Today, in the year 2020 it is more important than ever to the average job seeker, that they end up working at a company they can truly make a difference with while adding value to the consumer. So the question becomes how do we do that?

Serve Not Sell – in My Experience

My experience is really all I can share. And while you may agree or disagree with my stance, the fact remains there are very few companies out there that understand and know how to create effective buy-in with their team. And that’s one thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt, we know how to do. At the same time if you do not do it in the very beginning during training of new hires, it can be extremely challenging to come back later and create it after they have been with your organization for a while. Just because old habits die hard.

For example, we have noticed if we train marketers to get second phone numbers or emails for each prospect from the beginning- they are able to achieve those goals 80% of the time. While if we have them establish their presentation, and later try to incorporate that part- they only end up accomplishing it 50% of the time. Therefore it’s the change to what’s already made a habit that is the most challenging.

Buy-in works the same way. If In the first few day’s, we establish what we are here to do, why we do it, and what  their job truly is, our employees understand the nature of what they are doing is helping. I only came to this understanding by knocking doors, and standing on the porch of a homeowner in tears while they tell me their horror story of what one of my unscrupulous competitors had done. Whether it be they took the money and ran, went out of business and the warranty went too, or just plain won’t follow up on the promises made at the kitchen table, all scenarios had left me walking away thinking “if I only had gotten to these people a couple years sooner- this never would have happened to them.”

This led me to have a real sense of pride in what I did. No matter how many doors slammed in my face, hang ups happened on the phone, or how many people at an event told me they didn’t want what I had before I even had a chance to tell them, I knew I had a mission- and that I literally owed it to my prospects to close them for an appointment. I relate it very much to the game show- “let’s make a deal.” Behind door 🚪 number 1, is my company, which won’t be the cheapest initially but will take care of the customer and service them effectively. So I know what’s behind door number one. But doors 2 & 3 are closed. Behind them could be a great experience, but could also be a terrible experience like the one so many homeowners have unfortunately had to share with me over the years of my experience. We make it very clear to our marketers, we all know what’s behind door 1, door 2 and 3 could be a crap shoot. You could end up at a decent product at a lower price, or you might end up with a company taking your money and then filing bankruptcy. Doesn’t it only make sense to bet on the for sure great experience?

Our marketers realize they owe it to the prospect to get our rep in front of them. One thing to remember being, people do what’s in their best interest. And if our marketing staff feels internally (not externally meaning bribed by incentives or their pay check) that the right thing to do is to make sure we get an appointment scheduled- they will do it far more often and will also do it without you standing over their shoulder watching. They do it because they BELIEVE they are helping. And they are! This will carry your team so much further than just saying “you need to hit your goal because we want you to make money”. Because what happens when that person gets off to a slow start for the day? Does the idea that against all odds they could actually make some money if they worked harder truly effect changed behavior? My experience has been that if they believe they are helping, their determination with every single rejection they receive- only Becomes that much stronger. That your lead generators are on a mission- a mission to make the world a better place, one home at a time.

You are probably thinking 🤔 “great Megan, so HOW do we do that?”

5 things we do to create employee buy-in to the Serve Not Sell mentality

  1. We present the company story we would normally show a customer, to our new hires in training.
  2. We share with them real life experiences when a customer had a poor experience and how we were able to make it right for them eventually- but the customer had to end up spending more because they bought the product twice.
  3. We share and make them a part of the community giving back we do.
  4. We create and enforce a culture of positivity by providing book studies, financial planning courses and doing little things regularly to show our appreciation.
  5. We celebrate every sale and every win with everyone in the company through a thread on an app.

This list is only a beginning by a long shot, but you get the idea. When the people you have love the company they work for, turnover goes down, employee production increases, and you will have new employee referrals coming in  at extremely high rates. When you create a culture of winners, many other people want to then be a part of it.

It’s important to remember, the day will come where show attendance is down, where you hit a neighborhood that one of your competitors just hit, and there will be a time no one is picking up the phone when your call center calls. Your team must feel an internal duty to keep pushing through even when the scenario isn’t ideal. They must know that the initial objections from our customer in the first thirty seconds is only buyer resistance and that it could be based on the well-earned black eye our industry has.

It’s our job as lead generation professionals to not take this personally, and inside to realize they have no idea who we are, or that we are the gold star in a deep sea of bottom feeders. All they know is we sell a product that is the same classification of another product they heard of or had a bad experience with. It’s  not their fault- they are just trying to protect themselves. And we must be ready with our army of effective processes and scripting- in order to help them gently drop their guard and to buy us 30 seconds to show them that we are different. The experience has to be so powerful- that it doesn’t even resemble the experience they had or heard about before.

You know how we give them a great experience? By having marketers that actually care. By having marketers that realize their mission is great and while they may face adversity, they will prevail if they work hard and continue to sharpen the axe. By having marketers that believe in serve not sell, they will become a natural byproduct of serving. Last but not least- having marketers bought into their purpose and that is to make sure this customer sees them as a problem solver, and not a sales person. Because if they have a problem, and we have the best solution, we would kind of be a jerk to not tell them about it, wouldn’t we?
If the customer was drowning, should we throw them the life preserver or should we assume they won’t take it anyway so there’s no point? That the weather isn’t the greatest and the sea is choppy- so it probably won’t work anyhow?
No- we would throw them the life preserver. You need to get out there at the home show and hand out the life preserver.

Megan McGuire has spent the last 19 years as a student and practitioner of marketing and sales process with a specific focus on lead generation. Learn More About taking your lead generation to the next level by requesting a FREE CONSULTATION.