Challenge Corner


Sell More with Customer Focus

Have you noticed that selling needs to be a whole lot more customer focused these days? The personal side of selling and customer focus are so important now that my next series of blogs is all about ways we can improve our “customer focus”.

Smiling woman with 2 thumbs up.

Sure, products and features are important, but they need to be combined with a strong customer focus to get you a winning formula for results. Today it really is all about your customer!

So where do we start with customer focus?

Well, we all know each of our customers is unique, that customers’ needs and expectations vary widely. Because of this uniqueness, each customer presents a different selling challenge for us. To meet the challenge, our goal should be to personalize our product approach and message to each customer. To do this, we’ll need to get to know our customers as people first so we can relate to them easily and quickly.

How do we do this?

Looking for common areas of interest is a great start to connecting with your customers on a more personal level:

Customer and sales woman getting to know each other.


  • How do they spend their free time?
  • What about family?
  • Where do they vacation?
  • What do they do for fun?
  • What do they read?



Answers to these questions and others give valuable clues for keeping your selling interactions focused on your customer first before moving to products and features.

Next time, more ways you can keep your selling interactions customer focused.

Until then,

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Sell Alphabet: Salesperson enjoying interacting with customer

I like to use a Sell Alphabet to keep my focus on people in every selling situation.

The Sell Alphabet I use is based on the 7 letters in “people”. It highlights my core beliefs about selling and selling people.

Capital Letter P

comes first because selling people first is the key. Selling people first, integrated with your sales process, drives performance and results…every time.

Capital Letter E

ngage your prospects and customers on their terms. They’ve usually done their own research by the time they get to you. Use that to engage them through questioning so you can start where they are. Once you’ve discovered what they’ve learned and what they’re after, you can:

Capital Letter O

pportunity. Selling people first is your opportunity to get to know your customers as individuals so you can further build positive relationships with them. When you know and understand your customers as individuals, you will gain  their trust. Once they trust you, they become much more willing to make a positive buying decision.

Capital Letter P

ersonal sales skills. The more highly developed yours are, the greater your selling success. Work to improve them every day. With solid personal sales skills, you avoid becoming just a “data miner” focused only on numbers. Keeping the personal touch brings you results…and makes all your selling activity even more rewarding.

Capital Letter L

earning. Every day is a learning day in selling. Make learning one of your top priorities. What to learn?

As you learn more and more about selling, your market and your customers, you’ll be able to refine and improve your personal sales process.

Capital Letter E

xpertise, the natural outcome of Learning, begins with mastery of your personal selling skills. Applying them with a customer focused strategy and sales process leads to your personal sales success, helping you produce more sales…faster.

So that’s my Sell Alphabet for selling The Word People.

What Sell Alphabet are you using?

Peter's signature


For me, selling is all about selling people.

Harvey Mackay has been a huge influence on my approach to selling because he’s a master of 2 concepts:

We sales people know that, no matter what process and software we’re using, we are the key to getting the sales task accomplished.

The best part?

We’re selling our products and services to people…and it’s people who make  the buying decisions.

So …

Here are my 3 favorite tips to do just that. They’re quick reminders on sharpening our personal selling game.

TIP #1: People buy from people, especially people who make themselves “easy to buy from”.

Couple talking to salesman



TIP #2: People want to do business with people who understand them and what they want.

Saleswoman listening to customer

This next tip says it all…

TIP #3: People want to do business with people they like, respect and trust.



Next time, I’ll talk about the big payoff from putting these 3 people tips into action.

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For more, read Harvey Mackay’s The MacKay MBA of Selling in the Real World.

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