Tomorrow night we make again our resolutions list that motivates us to do the right thing in terms of health, sports, finance, habits, and love. If you are a salesperson that wants to be more successful than this year then you need to work on an additional list. The list items all fall in the habits category. Remember, motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going. I challenge you to work on these habits until you have unlearned the old and mastered the new. Here is the ultimate Trusted Advisor Resolutions List for 2020.
- See the customer’s world through their glasses, not yours
The biggest mistake salespeople (who do not change the way they sell) will make in 2020 is going into meetings with a set mind, thinking as if you know what your customer’s issues and challenges are before you even meet them. During the meeting, you are waiting for that rigid moment so you can start leading with your solution. Customers have moved on and recognize these types of salespeople within the first ten minutes. This is an old way of selling and is not going to work in the next decade.
Instead, sell the way buyers want you to sell; Come prepared with solid research about what’s going on in their industry, knowledge about their competitors’ moves and possible challenges as well as trends they may face as a business in 2020. Who and what is shaking their industry? What external changes drives them to react? What makes them modify their strategy? What business challenging topics are discussed at their boardroom meetings? This is what senior managers worry about. Find out what that is and where your knowledge intersects. Then you have captured the customer’s interest. For sure you will be invited to stay longer at their table.
- Stop leading with your products and about how good your company is
Customers are way ahead of you on yours and your competitors’ products and service knowledge. They have teams working out comparisons on Excel spreadsheets, so, leading your meetings with products, services and capabilities is actually boring for your prospective customer. They switch off the moment you start your meetings with talking about yourself, the brand you represent and the superior qualities you think you have over your competitor. Expect the customer closing the meeting respectfully, at best.
- Start sharing relevant information that your customer doesn’t know
Instead of talking about how good your company is, lead with insights; Information your customer does not know, would like to know and is new knowledge that could contribute to change their perspective on challenges and risks they face. Every business wants to grow and make more profit. Don’t hold yourself back on sharing ideas of what might work and also what doesn’t. Your opinion counts.
- Talk to more stakeholders, you need them and they need you
Making decisions, like changing a supplier, has become more complex than ever. Facing constant changes, external and internal, drives that complexity for businesses. On top of that companies have moved on to flatter organizational structures and hence everyone’s opinion needs to be heard which does not simplify the matter. Trusted Advisors see this as an opportunity to offer help in making sense. Expect some stakeholders to firmly hold on to the status quo, others will be happier to talk to you because they already see the need for change. Use the latter as change champions and help them to get consensus with others that a change is needed for the sake of avoiding risks and acquiring significant business benefits.
Your customer’s success is your success
Finally, the new focus of your meetings is totally about your customer’s success. This sounds easier than it is. Traditionally salespeople like to solve problems, overcome customer’s issues by providing solutions. But what if your prospective customer doesn’t see any problems or issues with their current supplier? Trusted Advisors have the ability to focus on their prospective customer’s business and success factors. Is their current performance good enough? In your opinion, can it be better and how can you help? What does success look like for your customers in 2020? Is it expanding to new markets, cutting costs, driving customer loyalty, launching new products? Trusted Advisors find this out and share how they can help.
These will not only make 2020 your year but also the beginning of a GREAT decade!
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