Our mindset impacts how we think of and engage our customers. It impacts both our conscious and unconscious behavior. It impact the language we use in talking about and talking to customers.

The mindset for sales and marketing seems to be, increasingly, oriented to the things we do to our customers. Our language and processes betray this thinking:

  • We “target” them with our messaging/prospecting.
  • Our “battlecards” guide us on our engagement process.
  • We qualify them for opportunities.
  • We move them through our selling process. If we are “sophisticated,” we phrase it as their buying process–even though we constantly “sell.” We seldom help them in their problem solving journey.
  • We move them from specialist to specialist, processing them through our system, rather than developing relationships with them.
  • We focus on the value we provide to them.
  • We present and pitch rather than engaging in conversations.
  • We overcome objections and close them.

Again, our language, processes, behaviors are shaped by our mindsets. All of the work that we do is driven by what we do to our customers.

Ironically, our customers’ mindsets are very different. If we look at the mindsets that shape their work, it’s generally what they do with others.

Our customers identify opportunities to change and improve. The organize themselves to work together on the project. They work with each other, aligning goals, developing a plan of how they achieve their shared goals. Everything they do involves working with others in their function, organization, or company.

Their mindset and orientation, from the top of the organization and down, is how they work together to get things done.

A huge part of the challenge we, in sales and marketing, have is that our mindset is completely opposed to our customer’s mindsets. And this creates huge barriers in our ability to connect with and engage our customers.

What if we changed our mindset? What if, rather than focusing on what we do to our customers, we started focusing on what we do with our customers?

How would things change if we moved from selling to them, or even helping them buy, to working collaboratively in achieving shared goals?

Somehow, it seems that if we changed our mindsets about how we work with our customers, we might sell more to them.