Becoming A Trusted Advisor

There are many levels of service that you can achieve with your
customers, and many salespeople are quite happy to achieve the
status of supplier to their businesses. At this level, you
continue to offer products and services as and when the customer
needs them, and the relationship rarely goes beyond making sure
the goods are delivered on time.

Some salespeople, however, build up closer relationships with
their customers to the point where they become a trusted advisor
to them, offering much deeper information and much better
assistance for their future needs.

So how do you become one of these trusted advisors, creating a
partnership that will be of mutual benefit to both sides?

Here are some examples of what you need to do to prove you can be
of major benefit to their business:

1) You must understand your customer’s short and long-term
goals, objectives and priorities, as specifically as possible.
Ask where they see their market share being in the near future
and what their plans are to achieve that. Get close to them on
financials, as the more you know in these factual areas, the more
you can assist in their buying processes to help keep them on
track.

2) You must understand the company culture and its values. By
doing so, you can link in with the way they operate and offer
advice on how your services can add to that value base.

3) You must understand the customer’s decision-making process.
What I mean by this is you must be sure you know the people
involved in making choices, not just in respects to your
products, but also in other areas of decision-making.

4) You must understand the needs of your customer’s customers.
This will allow you to advise on the best way of marketing your
products to the end user. You know you products and services
better than your customer does, so help them achieve their goals
by advising them on how to sell them.

5) You must understand how your customer’s competitors work. Do
some research on what their competitors are doing at the moment
and present it to your customer. You will get lots of thanks and
loyalty because very few of your competitors will think of doing
this.

6) You must understand the opportunities that exist for your
customer in their market place. How competitive are they? What
major USPs do they offer to the market? By knowing this
information, you can offer trusted advice when it comes to new
campaigns and products.

By becoming a trusted advisor to your customer in these areas,
you make yourself an invaluable resource to them and create
reasons for loyalty in the future. It will take away the
attention from price because you offer something more valuable
than money. And that’s something your customer will always
thank you for.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat

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