How Can I Help You?

Have you ever walked into a sales meeting and the first thing the salesperson did was talk about him or herself and how they could help you and you sat there thinking … Wow, I don’t need this. This isn’t even close to what I was expecting to hear from him/her. This has happened to me several times so as a salesperson I started getting into the habit of starting my sales pitches by asking my clients and potential clients, How can I help you?

Sales shouldn’t be about telling someone how you can help them, it should be about asking how you can help them. When you truly listen to your clients needs you are building trust. You are showing them that you genuinely care about them and want to help them. I admit, I’m human and a few times I’ve fallen back into the old habit of assuming I know how to help someone and almost every time I end up in some awkward conversation because the prospect and I end talking about two different things. When I ask someone how I can help them, they can tell me what they need and I can intelligently articulate how I can help them. Remember the old saying, When you assume you make an *ss out of you and me.

Now perhaps you can only help them with a few of their needs but the needs they have that aren’t in your wheelhouse can always be handled my someone else. Have a list of referrals ready to give to those clients or potentials clients. You might find that you are always able to help your clients with A, B & C, but many of them have a common problem, D, that isn’t something you handle. Find great people that can help them with D and refer them on.

For example, I work with a lot of external wholesalers who call on financial advisors. And I know that a lot of financial advisors need help setting appointments, finding good lead sources, processing paperwork, staying organized, etc. As a wholesaler you might know of a service or services that you can refer to your prospects and clients. At the end of the day being a salesperson is about helping others. Of course, we all need to make money but what drives you? Is it the money alone or is it being helpful and the money?

I think the most successful salespeople genuinely care about helping their clients. Doesn’t it feel great to make someone else’s life a bit easier? To help someone else grow their business? To help someone else find a solution to their needs?

I worked for a MDRT advisor years ago that always said he never planned on retiring because he was having too much fun helping his clients. That man was one of the most successful advisors I’ve ever come across in my twenty years in the industry and I truly believe it was his desire to help and educate his clients about building their wealth that greatly contributed to his success. He always asked how he could help them and then he did just that, if they needed a lawyer – he’d refer a lawyer, if they needed a CPA – he’d refer a CPA. He didn’t just help them with the wealth building part, he helped them with anything they needed. Heck, I think sometimes they’d even ask things like, “Do you know a good painter, I need my house painted.” Or “Where could I get a good deal on a new car?” He built solid relationships with his clients, got to know them and helped them in several facets of their lives.

The next time you are sitting in front of a client or prospect at a sales meeting ask them how you can help them. You might be surprised at how fast you can grow a business by asking that question first! And when your clients love you and want to work with you, ask for referrals! People are happy to spread the word about their great experiences.

So … how can I help you?


Danae Branson is the founder of Elite Scheduling Services, a premier scheduling service in the financial industry. You can find more information about Elite’s services at or by emailing Danae at



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