When multi-national energy and petrochemicals company Shell launched their “What Drives You?” Campaign three years ago, the company re-launched its image to the public with a two-level campaign touching on human “passion” and the secret behind “smooth driving” for an automobile. The campaign was such a success that it increased not only sales for the company but also market reach and brand awareness that touched on the human goal of happiness.
Shell is one of the many trillion-dollar-earning companies across the globe which has come to really understand how to approach the needs of its various markets (bypassing race, color, age, religion, gender and economic status) since they grasp the very reason why each individual purchases a product or service.
For anyone who wants to excel in the art of selling, adapting this approach in every sale and in every interaction will ensure success.
“The first step in trying to get along with other people is to realize that each is doing what he wants to do. Examine his actions, uncover the motives for his acts, uncover why he wants to do as he does. And, as we’ll see further along, this will give you the opportunity to earn his respect and cooperation to an extent that others can never obtain,” says Harry Browne, renowned sales consultant and lecturer.
Browne suggests creating an environment of trust between you and the customer to guarantee a successful sale. To create this, you must “get into” the world of the consumer as he sees it for you to understand what he is striving to achieve, what he is willing to do to achieve it, and how he intends to achieve it.
This will allow you to be on the same level as that person and will make it easy for you to provide solutions on how to help him attain his dreams or goals. This is based on the assumption that your product or service can really address that individual’s goals and help them find happiness.
Creating an ‘illusion’ that you can provide this to the client will only backfire on you in the long run and ruin your opportunity of a having a long-term profitable relationship with that individual (or those that he can refer you to). Although your product or service might not fit an individual’s immediate need, establishing a sincere and transparent relationship with that individual during initial contact will provide you great rewards in the future.
Motives and values of an individual change over the long run as well as the means that allow him to attain his goals. (e.g. Customer doesn’t have the funds at the moment because funds are allocated for a more important goal.)
It is also important to remember that happiness is relative. What pleases one person is not necessarily going to please another. So what might not be important to one could be very important to another. By the same token, when offering products and services to different people, different approaches should be used depending on how that individual might deem the value of your offer.
The art of selling, then, requires one to be proficient in finding the best possible means of attaining a state of profitability for the client based on their motives and a state of profitability for you in terms of your own goals during the transaction.
It’s a daunting task. But nothing is impossible to one who wants to excel and succeed. It requires planning, continuous practice, and constant tweaking mostly based on customer feedback and on your own observations of what works and needs to be replaced.
If Shell was able to come up with a very creative approach to it, so can you. All you need is thorough product knowledge/appreciation and a true understanding of human nature.