Sales professionals often throw around words such as trusted advisor, partner in business or thought leader to describe themselves. But the reality is, those words are more often than not simply:
Blah, blah, blah.
Think about the people, experts and pundits you listen to. One of the reasons that you continue to take time to view or listen to these individuals is because they are very good at telling you something you don’t know. You leave the conversation smarter about “something” or you have a new perspective and way of thinking about a problem, goal or initiative. That’s a thought leader, value added partner and trusted advisor.
So, what can you do to earn the title of trusted advisor, partner or thought leader?Be intentional about every connection you make with a prospect or customer.
Apply the EQ skills of self-awareness and reality testing by asking this question of you and your sales team. Is each interaction with prospects and clients pass the “Did I share something of value with my prospects and customers?” It could be an insight, different perspective, hard data or best practices occurring in the industry.
At your next sales meeting, conduct an exercise with your sales team called “What our prospects and customers don’t know, that they should know, and want to know.” This thinking exercise helps sellers move beyond to “just checking in” outreaches to “adding value” outreaches. In some cases, your sales team may recognize they don’t have the answer to this question.
Not to worry.
Ask your sales team to include the following questions when meeting with current clients.
- What part of your business are you struggling to find a solution? (Make it clear to your sellers that this includes the entire company, not just the area you service.)
- What’s working at the company but you know the company could be doing better? (Visionaries are always looking towards the future.)
This gives your sales team intel on how they can help their clients, regardless if it’s your company’s solutions or one that you can be provided with an introduction to a referral partner.
Tell me something I don’t know.
When you adopt this mindset and approach in sales, I’ll guarantee your prospects and customers will always welcome a conversation with you.