Who might need your help?

The problem is that as selling professionals, we often wait for customers to ask for help when really we need to be initiating the help.

The little old lady looked out of place standing on the side of the busy Toronto highway. Cars were flying by at a dangerous pace. Finally, one driver, a total stranger, stopped and offered the lady a helping hand. At first, the old lady insisted she was fine, that her home was just around the corner. However, the driver knew that there were no homes anywhere in the area and that it was very dangerous to be walking on the side of the highway. With a little more coercing the driver convinced the old lady to get into the car and enjoy a comfortable ride back to her home. As they drove, there was a look of confusion on the old lady’s face. “Do you recognize these homes”, the driver asked. “No, no I don’t”, the old lady replied. They drove in and around the neighbourhood until finally the old lady exclaimed, “There, I live there!” As the old lady started to thank the driver, suggesting she would be alright, the driver insisted that she wanted to take her up to her apartment. Reluctantly, the old lady agreed. Then, as the old lady put her key in the lock and started to turn the handle, a look of shock came across her face. She pulled out her key and said, “This isn’t my home, it can’t be my home, the door is unlocked. I never leave my door unlocked”. The driver looked in bewilderment, unsure what to do next, the door of the apartment flew open and there stood a teary eyed daughter ever so thankful that a total stranger had taken the time to bring her wandering mother home. By this time it had been 12 hours since the old lady had been missing, a happy ending to a potential tragedy.

Whatever possessed the driver to stop on a very busy highway, to reach out to a stranger and treat the lady like she was the only thing that mattered? That was the burning question and the first one I asked her when we tucked ourselves in bed that night.

I am proud to say that the driver in this story is my wonderful wife of eleven years. Honestly, I am not that surprised that Sharen did what she did; her desire to help is contagious. However, the moment I heard this story I knew there was a lesson inside that I wanted to share. This month I want you to ask, who might need your help?

Here is something I would like you to consider; I believe that 50% of your target market doesn’t know that they need your help. I believe they are unaware of your value, or how a relationship with you will change their business. However, if you work with them, coach them, care for them you will soon unlock a new opportunity. You see customers who know they need help, have already developed expectations and ideas of what they expect to happen. They know what they want, who they want to buy it from and how much they want to pay. This doesn’t leave you much room to excite, motivate and WOW them. The problem is that as selling professionals, we often wait for customers to ask for help when really we need to be initiating the help. Providing “unconditional” help creates reciprocity, loyalty and just like it did for the old lady, it can often lead to a very happy ending.

This month, ask who might need your help? What kind of help would they need? How could you demonstrate your “unconditional” desire to be their caring coach? At first you may surprise them because sadly not many people take the time to reach out and help, but I bet that once they get it, you will change your relationship with them in a very powerful and positive way.

Thanks Sharen for being an inspiration in more ways then you know.

Curt Skene