TAKE A LONG-TERM VIEW – Best sales and marketing Ideas #75

101 Best sales and marketing Ideas

IDEA 75:


It is an old maxim of the world of selling that the job is not to make a sale, but to make a customer. The implication is that the business you can obtain over the longer term is more important than clinching a single deal today and there is certainly some good sense in this view. Sometimes this philosophy can be taken to extremes, and still make sense.

Let me prefix this idea by summarizing my experience with the mobile phone company Vodafone. I have just wasted at least two hours of my time discovering that it cannot supply what I want. I went into a local shop to ask, and was told the company could do what I wanted, but only via a bigger store. I e-mailed the company and (eventually) got a reply saying this was the case.  In London a little later, another shop told me it could only sort out my problem by telephone. When I was home again, I telephoned. Nobody needs all the details: after endless holding, several transfers, and my demanding to speak to a manager, I was told the company did not do what I wanted at all. You can guess what this experience did for the likelihood of my doing business with Vodafone in the future, especially as at the end of the call I declared my intention to write about my experience, and gave the operative my telephone number so there was a chance for someone else to ring me and try to put things right. I heard nothing


From mobile telephone company Orange…

After this incident I telephoned Orange. It took one call, one person, and a few minutes. I got a clear explanation, some suggestions, and – and here is the idea – firm advice that I should not buy anything at present. “The cost is disproportionate for what you want”, I was told. “You would not feel it was good value”. Not only was I not sold anything, I was specifically recommended not to buy anything! Technology should give me new options in the future- and guess where I will be asking about them

In practice

  • The Orange sales person sacrificed a sale now for a larger sale in future- and some good references in the meantime (including the one in this book!).The moral is clear: customers are more likely to rate, and buy from, people who display this attitude.

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