Know your buyers

Buyer personas—profiles of your ideal buyers—are particularly important in service selling because they provide insights into the demographics, priorities, concerns, and decision factors common to your potential customers.

Because you are selling value—not a product they can touch or immediately experience—you need to know what your potential buyers find most important when seeking the types of services you provide. These are the outcomes produced by your services and can take different forms.

For example, what goals do your web design services help a small business owner achieve? Does it make their small online shop look like its bigger competitors? Does it increase visitors and sales? Knowing buyers’ common goals helps you ask the right questions during the sales process to find what’s important—and what’s not.

Sometimes value is less tangible. What feelings do your interior design services evoke in a middle-aged couple? Is that new mid-century living room intended to impress their in-laws? Or is it something more practical like having fewer soft surfaces to clean? Either way, knowing the types of things (or feelings) your buyers value will help you focus your sales.

Always be helping

Sales doesn’t have the best reputation. In fact, only 18% of salespeople are seen as “trusted advisors” by customers. Even more alarming, HubSpot found that salespeople are only slightly more trustworthy than politicians. Oof.

So how does a salesperson gain trust when the deck is stacked against them, particularly when selling an intangible?

By putting the needs of the buyer first with an “always be helping” philosophy.

This is a 180-degree shift from the traditional mindset of closing anyone and everyone no matter if it’s a good fit or not. Always be helping pairs well with selling services because the salesperson becomes the trusted advisor that so many customers otherwise find lacking. Here are some ways you can always be helping:

  • Determine how (and if) you can help the buyer
  • Uncover the problems, pain points, or challenges you can solve for them
  • Set clear expectations
  • Provide value in all of your emails and calls
  • Do what you say you are going to do every time
  • Be transparent in every interaction; don’t hide anything
  • Share your expertise during the sales process

My wife and I recently had our house painted, and we chose one company above the others because the owner was the poster guy for “always be helping.” When we met, he asked a few questions about our needs, experience with painters, and so on. Then he walked us around the house, pointing out details the other companies missed—and we didn’t know to mention. Things like “we’ll put an extra coat on this wall because it gets the most sun,” or “this gutter is corroding, so we’ll treat it before we paint.”

The best part: he was writing it down as we walked. These details were reflected in his proposal, which also gave us confidence that he was meticulous and could be the trusted advisor we were looking for.

Developing and Using Social Proof

In his bestselling book on influence, Robert Cialdini explains that people—in order to determine what is correct—look to what other people think is correct. He coined this “social proof.” We see evidence of social proof all around us—from positive online restaurant reviews to a long line of people waiting to get into a nightclub.

Social proof for service businesses takes on a number of forms: online reviews, testimonials, case studies, and references. And this proof is vitally important for service providers because there is no product to “try” or “test” beforehand. All you have are the results and impressions from your customers.





From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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