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How Great Helpfulness Wins Hearts and Sales

Taxi Mike, Geek Squad and Vanderbilt University Medical Center take the same successful approach to stand out from their competition, and you can too. Like you, they realize that traditional selling is dead in our digital world.

Potential buyers can quickly compare products, as Daniel Pink eloquently suggests in To Sell is Human. Yet, unlike these three very different organizations, surprisingly few others have turned this truth into an opportunity to become the top-of-mind choice for their kind of customers.

What is their secret? Simply this.

They understand that extremely relevant helpfulness is not only the most human way to attract customers but it is also the best way to keep them loyal as Jay Baer demonstrates in his new book, YOUtility. 

As Baer suggests, “Sell something, and you make a customer. Help someone, and you make a customer for life.”

 Adapt one of these partnership-based ways to be more helpful than your competition, on-line and in-person:

1. Coddle Your Biggest-Spending Customers

Offer a gift with the purchase of a “bundled” collection of your services or products. Your gift is provided by your partnering business. Your clients can receive it by taking the gift card you give them to the partner’s outlet. You reciprocate providing a gift of equal value to your partner’s clients who walk in your door to receive it. Of course, you can replicate this method online. With this approach, you give customers more reason to buy more at one time and you get introduced to your partner’s biggest spenders.

2.    Serve Those in Difficult Situation Better Together 

After watching her mother staining clothes while taking her dialysis treatments several times a week, Megan Stengel and her partners began designing functional yet attractive clothing with hidden zippers and other alterations. Their firm, Libre Clothing, now partners with grateful dialysis clinics, hospitals and the National Kidney Foundation to make it easier and more comfortable for their “mutual market” of patients to undergo chemotherapy, dialysis or other treatments requiring intravenous lines, catheters or infusion tubes.  Hint: when you provide a first-of-a-kind combined service you are often a magnet for media coverage, especially if your helpfulness supports those in a dire situation.

See three more ways to pull in appreciative clients over at my Forbes column.



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