It sounds counter-intuitive, but some of the best companies in the world work hard to sell as little as possible to each of their customers.
I first shared this a few years ago when talking about how “if you don’t say no, your yes is meaningless“, where the companies I trust most often push to not sell me things. The key, of course, is that it creates enough trust that I’m more likely to go to them in the future when I really need help.
In his book “Good Company“, Arthur Blank shares his philosophy with The Home Depot:
At The Home Depot, we used to tell our associates, “Your job is to sell the customer as little as possible to meet their needs.”
Of course, both examples are not entirely altruistic. At the end of the day, businesses that do that are working to build trust, and trust leads to more sales. If you’re in it for the long haul, you should be selling your customers as little as possible (while still helping them achieve their goals) so you can be the go-to in the future.