When it comes time to make big decisions, we don’t always leave every consideration up to ourselves. Take the show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? as an example; contestants get 3 “lifelines” to confer with a friend or audience suggestion as to the correct trivia answers. We instinctively like to source as much information as possible before making decisions, and as sales reps, it’s now your duty to offer this ability to your customers!
Introducing the Trusted Advisor. If you haven’t heard of this, Trusted Advisors are sales reps who develop solutions to their client’s needs, instead of loading them with every feature they hope to push their way.
Take two car salesman as an example. The first salesman is your stigmatized pushy sales guy, and he’ll sell a family of four the biggest, most expensive SUV with all the extra features he thinks he can get them to buy. Whether it’s the right car for them is irrelevant to him, as long as the number on the bottom line is as large as possible. The outcome is, this family drives away in a car they weren’t sure is right for them, and likely will feed into their distaste for buying cars from this dealership again.
The trusted advisor sits down with the family and discusses every use they might need for the car. Will they be taking trips where they’ll need four wheel drive? Will this car be used in stop and go traffic every day, or just quick trips around the neighborhood? This trusted advisor comes back with different models and options based on his best estimates for the families needs, and by doing so creates mutual respect in a relationship to this family. This leads to familiarity, and the family will likely want to deal with this trusted advisor the next time they look for a car, creating a longer period of sales for the dealership.
This is exactly how trusted advisors should operate. Position yourself as a source of information and attention to the pain points of clients, rather than an encyclopedia of product features. This requires genuinely being interested and understanding the problems of your prospect. The more attention paid to their needs, the likelihood that they’ll remain a customer for years to come increases.
Make an effort to kick off 2017 the right way, and sell as a trusted advisor, not a pushy sales rep!