The holiday season always seems to remind us of things we forget as salespeople and this year is no different for me. The focus on the customer in any given situation is always vital, but it is just as vital to include anyone the customer has brought with them. They are likely there because the customer trusts them, and in many cases, will want their input in making the decision to buy.
This particular reminder came from a doctor, not a salesperson. Without giving away any details, the situation went something like this: I was gathered with family at a hospital when the doctor came out to update us on the condition of a loved one. Even though the patient’s daughter was/is the primary caregiver, the doctor made it a point to talk to everyone in the room. Without speaking for him, I believe the doctor did this for two reasons.
The first, it is simply the right thing to do; all of us were there because we cared. Secondly though, and this is the part that relates more to sales, the doctor understood that the patient’s daughter was going to be talking about decisions with everyone in that room. Therefore by engaging everyone, the doctor was helping the daughter, or his customer.
If a man comes in to buy an engagement ring and brings his best man with him, then it is obvious that he is going to seek his friend’s opinion before buying. As a salesperson, you want to sell to the customer, but you want to keep the friend engaged as well. They will be offering advice, and if you have included them in the process, then the chances of you completing a sale increase dramatically.
The same is true even with kids; they may not have a say in their parents’ decision, but you can still include the kids in the process. In most cases, customers are going to appreciate that you took the time to involve their children and that can only help you in the long run.
In short, sell to the customer but try to involve everyone they brought with them. It may lead to a sale and it might also lead to more customers down the road.