Sales Advice from Aretha Franklin“All I’m askin’ is for a little respect…”—Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul isn’t the only one who wants a little respect. Buyers want it too, and as a general rule, they’ll give their business to the company and the salesperson who gives it to them.

So if you want to boost your sales, make sure you and all your salespeople are consistently demonstrating respect for your prospects and customers. Specifically, respect their:

People are busier today than ever before. So their time is at a greater premium than ever before. Don’t waste it.

Give people credit for being smart. Don’t assume they know less than you do. (With the abundance of information available today on the web, buyers often know more than the salesperson does.) And don’t do anything to make them feel stupid.

Don’t show your prospect what you like best, or the newest thing, or the option on which you get the biggest spiff. Show them what best meets the greatest number of their specific needs.

One of the things buyers hate most is when salespeople try to push a product or service that’s more expensive than the prospect wanted to spend. If their budget is simply unrealistic, you may need to discuss their budget with them and help them reevaluate it, but do so in a respectful manner.

We all value things like quality, service, capabilities, thrift, durability, speed, reliability, cleanliness, security, convenience, luxury, excitement, and variety differently. Just because your prospect doesn’t value one or more of these characteristics the same as you, doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

Women are buyers. And if they don’t feel they’re being taken seriously, they’ll go somewhere else. Even if a couple is shopping and the woman is not the driver of the purchase, you can bet she’s an influencer—women control the checkbook in 80% of households.

Whether a person is white or black, young or old, rich or poor, gay or straight, ambulatory or in a wheelchair, they are entitled to their dignity. This is non-negotiable.

Every person on the planet is unique, with their own needs, desires, priorities, fears, challenges and experiences. Nobody wants to be treated as just a number. When you respect a prospect’s individuality, you start to build a relationship.

Sing it with me now! “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me! R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Take care, TCB! Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…”