Customer Centric – 1st of the 10 Kurlan Sales Competencies for Building a Sales Culture

The original article for this series was posted here.



Believe it or not, there are a lot of people in sales who mistakenly believe that the world revolves around them.  If my previous sentence said “show business” instead of “sales” it would make sense but this isn’t show business.

Roles and titles make no difference on this one. I have developed and coached salespeople, managers, VP’s, Presidents and CEO’s alike whose biggest challenge was learning that it’s not about them.  Some of the things they’ve had to learn are that prospects and customers (and employees) don’t care about:

  • what they did over the weekend
  • their hobbies
  • their opinions
  • their likes and dislikes
  • their reasons to buy
  • why their company is so respected
  • why their product/services are so cool
  • why they do what they do
  • their excuses
  • their problems
  • their value proposition
  • their goals
  • their desired outcomes
  • their expectations
  • their process
  • their quota
  • their end of the month/quarter pressures
  • whatever it is you usually tell them
  • what they just bought
  • how much money they have
  • where they vacationed
  • them.

I’ve seen sales managers who put their own needs ahead of their salespeople, failing to develop, encourage and support them.

I’ve seen salespeople who just don’t hear their prospects’ positions, instead stating and standing by their own positions with more vigor and volume than their prospects. 

It’s terribly shocking to those who make it all about them – that the only thing that truly matters is what their prospects and customers care about.  And they don’t care about self-centered salespeople. 

So if prospects and customers don’t want to hear about any of it, what’s left?

Ask questions.  Lots of questions.  Good questions.  Tough questions.  Timely questions.

Use questions to develop a relationship, to build trust, to demonstrate expertise, to show you care and to show that you’re listening.

It’s all about them.  Next post? #2 on the list – The Enemy is Resistance.