Redefining the Sale: Serve Your Clients, Don’t Sell

We all have moments when we get weird about money. It’s one of the biggest fears among professionals. There are literally thousands of brilliant people who work for or run a business and they are terrified of sales.

“I’ll do any job, in any department, but please not sales. Anything but sales!”

But why? Why is the act of selling such a terrifying thing?

Without compassion and purpose, selling something to someone feels like a lie, a rip-off, a scam. The sale benefits the seller, not the buyer. Everyone knows that. Right?

Not so fast. The truth is that we don’t need to fear sales or cringe at the word. But we do need to redefine sales as a service you provide for your customer. Serve, don’t sell.

Liston Witherill, host of the Serve Don’t Sell podcast, developed this phrase, philosophy, and book. And his idea goes something like this: if you’re not helping your client, you’re hurting them. Either by wasting their time, their money, or both. That’s why sales can feel gross sometimes.

But how can you serve your clients if you don’t sell them your services?

To Serve Your Clients, Begin With Understanding Them

The energy and process we bring to selling is what will make all the difference. If you want to make a big show, flash your expertise, and demonstrate your industry dominance, have at it, but that expertise won’t help you sell.

Many experts fall into the rut of industry speak. The problem? It’s all about YOU, and we’ve established that clients aren’t really about that. Your clients don’t necessarily speak that language. They need you to understand their language and their problems.

So how can you serve them?

Listen first. Even and ESPECIALLY if you’ve heard it all before. Just because your client has come to you with a problem or pain point you see often in your industry, does not mean they’ve had the chance to be heard. Having your problem heard and validated is a fast track to developing mutual trust. 

Demonstrate value. When someone is new to what you offer, they’re usually most interested in the cost of the item so they can mentally check a box: Affordable or Not Affordable. We all do it. If you can demonstrate the benefit of what you do and how your service or solution will change their life for the better, then hit them with the cost. They’ll find ways to afford you because they see the value.

Remember the End Goal Isn’t About Making a Sale.

This is where the “Serve Don’t Sell” philosophy really hits home. Your goal isn’t to make a sale or reel in this client. It’s to serve them in whatever way they need most. You can determine what this is by:

Taking a wide view. Consider that their pain point or problem may only be a symptom. Taking the time to listen and ask questions that don’t EXACTLY come into play in your field may help paint a more clear picture and reveal multiple ways to offer your services and potentially recommend other services that you do not offer. Doing so positions you as a trusted advisor.

Checking yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I helping them?”. Sometimes helping them means you DON’T offer your services. They’re either not ready or not a good fit. YET. And there is a possibility that they may never be. When the dreaded SALES! fear shows up most is here. Don’t force it. Helping them could mean offering your services and moving them toward a goal. It can also look like referring them out.

By doing what’s best for the client, you not only create a foundation for a possible future relationship with this person or agency, but for any referrals they may send your way.

GoBeyond Is Dedicated to Serving Clients

When we named our company GoBeyond, we came to that name because of our experience in hospitality. We were trained to treat visitors to our restaurant, country club, bar, or hotel as a guest, not as a customer. We bring that energy to our company as well. We want our clients to feel that we go above and beyond their expectations. We practice what we preach!

Contact us at GoBeyond today to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help you take your business to the next level by redefining the sales mindset!

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Kristy is an Assistant & Coordinator of Awesome. She has worked extensively in academic administration and brings a varied wealth of knowledge. As a self-starter, she is ready to take on news projects and see them through to completion. Always curious, Kristy is an avid researcher and delights in the challenge of learning new skills.

When Kristy isn’t organizing or researching something, you can find her listening to a true crime podcast, re-watching How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory and coming up with some crazy shenanigan for her family’s next adventure.


  1. Kristy prefers the Harry Potter books over the movies. Her favorite book is The Prisoner of Azkaban and her favorite character is Luna Lovegood. Ravenclaw house. She just started her 8-year-old son on listening to the books.
  2. Kristy has a nail technician license, esthetician license, medical assisting certification, associate degree, and bachelor’s degree. She didn’t get her full cosmetology license because she can barely do her own hair, she shouldn’t be trusted with someone else’s.
  3. She doesn’t know how to gamble but is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. She moved to Colorado three months before her 21st birthday.
  4. Her high school graduating class consisted of only 20 people.
  5. Kristy loves gift giving. One of her great joys in life is finding the “perfect” gift.
Kristy Elias