Tim Huffaker 2017Apple is currently the most profitable publicly traded company. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple comprises about four percent of the S&P 500’s overall value. 

The company’s first-quarter profit in the year 2012 more than doubled to $13.1 billion, up from $6 billion in 2011. Sales rose 73 percent to $46.3 billion from $26.7 billion for the same period in 2010. Apple had a reported $127.8 billion in sales during the 2011 calendar year.  Forbes magazine had Apple’s net worth in May 2019 as $205.5 billion. So what is responsible for the phenomenal success in selling their products? It boils down to just one thing and that one thing should be adopted by every salesperson regardless of their product or industry: Find out what people want and then help them achieve it.  It is a basic and simple principle, but when applied, it can make the difference between success and mediocrity.  

Steve Jobs, the founder and chief architect of Apple, realized from the beginning that it was not enough to just sell the latest technical discoveries.  Instead, he needed to sell a solution to the needs of the buying public. He discovered what people wanted and then developed those products. In a sense he was doing what every salesperson should be doing intuitively – diagnosing needs and then providing solutions to those needs.  His philosophy has certainly paid off!

Here are five thoughts you can apply using this principle to increase your sales success.  The application of the principle is the key. Remember, it is not what you know that makes you a great salesperson; it is your diligence in applying correct principles and skills that makes you successful.

  1. Diagnose every prospect for specific problems and needs.  Never assume and never present your products or services until you know precisely what the buyer needs to improve their situation.  Don’t take their word for it. They may not know what they need; all they know is that they need something different or better. Sometimes the buyer doesn’t even know they have a need.
  2. Don’t sell.  No one wants to be sold, but most people enjoy buying, particularly a product or service that will solve a problem and make their life or job better.  When you discover the need first, the prospect will ask you how to acquire the solution to their problem instead of you trying to sell them. There is no sales resistance when the buyer wants to buy.
  3. Focus your attention on the prospect.  They are only concerned about themselves and in all honesty, they don’t really care about you as the salesperson.  Sympathize with them and acknowledge their feelings. Show compassion for their needs.  
  4. Present solutions to the specific needs the prospect or buyer has revealed to you.  Don’t just present to them the products or services you represent, but rather, give them the very best solutions to their needs and problems.  The solution will hopefully be your product, but if not, your honesty in presenting the right fix will go a long way toward developing a partner relationship with them.
  5. When you present a “tailored” solution to their needs, instead of trying to sell just what you have, you will build the trust and confidence with your prospects that will make them customers for life.  They will look to you as an on-going provider of future solutions.

The success of Apple Inc. is the result of discovering what the customer wants and then providing if for them.  In your sales, you will find greater success and loyalty with your customers if you will adopt the same philosophy.