Are you serving or selling?

We’re all selling.  The front line worker, the CEO, the therapist, the pastor, the bank teller, the daughter,  the husband and wife and the sales woman.   We sell different things:  a new process, a new vision, a behavior modification, a Word from God, a new savings account, staying up late to watch the playoffs on a school night, an addition to the house, or a huge technology solution.

We’re all selling something.   But we’re not all serving.  We serve when we know that we are selling something that delivers real value AND we help the buyer commit to receiving that value.  Serving is what what makes us a sales professional.

Here’s the problem:  People believe they are right and that they know better.  That’s why stupid people think that they’re smart.  And smart people do things that are stupid.  The Ivy League educated folks designing and selling CDOs thought they were good products delivering good value.  (CDOs were the bundled mortgages that blew up in our faces a couple of years ago).  They were wrong to the tune of over a trillion dollars.

It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re selling something that delivers true value.  Especially when we profit from the transaction.  The more we profit, the more true it might look to us.  Once we find the truth (or what we believe it to be),  we want to help others with this truth of ours.  After all, “The Truth shall set you free.”

The problem is when the truth is a lie.  When the profitability of a sale exceeds the real value provided to the client, there may be a lie.  When the sales person puts their personal commission before their personal values & mission, there may be a lie.  When the person selling the truth doesn’t understand the truth … and therefore can’t speak authoritatively about the value they’re selling, there may be a lie (even if it’s unintentional).

There is one easy way to determine whether your just selling or serving.  The truth you’re selling serves someone else more than it serves you.  If the transaction or relationship with you provides them more value than it provides you, you’re probably serving someone.  And that’s the truth.

So… are you serving or selling?

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