I would like to take this opportunity to provide this week’s primer to be more on the pragmatic side; how you can become a “trusted advisor” to your clients.
In today’s market, the sales effort more often than not focuses on the salesperson and what they have to sell. “I have this product that I need to move; I am behind my quota and need to get more sales etc.” These are statements of “me,” of what you need to accomplish, the goals that you need to achieve. Clearly, these goals are important, however, focusing too much on these goals in the presence of a potential or current client will convey the mindset that you are about yourself and not about the client.
Consider the following statements, it’s not about you, it’s about the client; it’s not about what you say, it’s about what you ask; it’s not about creating a selling environment (the salesperson does most of the talking), it’s about creating a buying environment, (the customer does most of the talking and the salesperson does most of the listening).
In the process of selling, we need to change our mindset and our action from selling a product to “providing solutions”. This is a significant mindset change, yet, imperative to be successfully perceived in the eyes of your customer as a trusted advisor, one who is the source of solutions.
Let me give you an example, the customer database is probably the most valuable resource that a sales professional has. The art of mining such a database effectively is the source of the success that many of the high performing sales professionals claim as the centerpiece of their success. So, the intention of these high performers as they reach out to their customer is to provide a service and a value to their “clients.” These are the people that have developed the art of asking questions and listening intently for the point of pain or pleasure of their clients. As a result, when they respond to these points, they do so with a specific value proposition that speaks directly to the customers’ needs or dreams, in other words with solutions.
You can imagine the validation the customer experiences with this approach and how they will brand the sales professional as ‘their trusted advisor.” You can imagine what this would do to the career of anyone that subscribes to this approach.