Ever over-sold a customer?

Sure you have. Everyone in sales has. Take my car dealer. He pegged me the moment I walked in the door of his dealership as someone looking to fulfill an unmet emotional need. The result? I drove off the lot with things I didn’t know I had. This includes paddle shifters and floormats, which he threw in for good measure.

True confession: I had no idea I bought a vehicle with paddle shifters until I accidently flicked one when attempting to avoid a car that swerved into my lane after hitting a patch of ice. My car maneuvered flawlessly. But I was unnerved.

The following day I rang my salesmen, Taylor, who explained to me what happened.

“I have paddle shifters?” I asked in confusion.

“Yes!” he said with enthusiasm. Then he added, somewhat disparagingly, “I promise you that wanted them and acted as though you knew how to operate them when I sold you the car. Are you telling me that you have never used them?”

After an awkward pause, I confessed that I not only had never used them but had no idea that they were built into the car. What is more, I haven’t a clue what they do.

A polite Mormon family man, Taylor said, “get your butt down here and I’ll show you how to use them and anything else you’re too embarrassed to ask about.”

As a customer, I was thrilled. There are a million things I don’t understand about the car. But I’m either too busy or too unsophisticated to understand. After the incident with the wayward driver, I feel I can now walk into the shop with zero inhibitions. When I do, I’ll undoubtedly spot something shiny that captures my imagination.

Which is one reason why Taylor is eager to have me visit—but not the only. A sales pro, Taylor knows the best way to get more out of my wallet is to help me get the most out of my investment.

Which brings me to you: Are you doing everything you can to help customers get everything out of their investments? Doing so is not only honorable, it’s just good business.

There’s an entire discipline of study devoted to the consequences of over-selling—of ideas, products and more.

Let’s face it: you sell sophisticated innovations to people who need, rely on and believe in your offerings. But they don’t always understand, appreciate or care about every aspect of their investment. Rather than lament or lampoon them, do what Taylor did: open your doors, seize the moment and teach.

This can take on many forms. HBR.org suggests you “Invest in Your Customers More Than Your Brand.” CloudTech suggests “helping customers optimise their cloud spend.” And The Silicon Review showcases an organization devoted to “helping companies get better return on investment.”

You can achieve amazing things when you go back to customers and show them how to better leverage the investments they have already made.

It’s far more satisfying than throwing in floormats.