In The Little Teal Book of Trust, sales and marketing guru Jeffrey Gitomer offers several strategies salespeople can use to become a trusted advisor. Here are the best ones:
- Trusted advisors try to provide value, not supplies.
- Trusted advisors focus on building relationships, not just closing deals.
- Trusted advisors consistently provide buyers with actionable insights and strategies for improving their business.
- Trusted advisors make decisions based on what’s best for the customer’s interest, not their own.
- Trusted advisors view themselves as partners in each buyer’s success.
- Trusted advisors put the relationship first, quota second.
- Trusted advisors speak in terms of long‐term value and return on investment
First, let’s look at the term “Trusted Advisor”. It’s one of the most overused terms today, it’s like the overuse of paradigm in the last decade. This overuse has lead to a “so what” everyone says the same thing attitude. BTW who’s determining what a Trusted Advisor is?
What do prospects, clients, and customers say about “Trusted Advisors”. That’s what really counts… what they think, not the sales person’s pre‐determined view.
Starting with word Trust in (Trusted Advisor), what does trust mean? What are the components and elements of trust? What, in the eyes of the prospect, client or customer makes you trustworthy?
According to Steven M.R. Covey in his book “The Speed of Trust”, there are key components that makeup trust. One is Character, its key elements include; integrity, & intent (agenda). Second is Competence, which has key elements of skill, knowledge, and results.
Recently a group of bank executives told me that one of their top goals was to train their bankers to be “Trusted Advisors”. When asked what a trusted advisor is, they stumbled through describing what that is. More importantly, when asked what their clients’ view of a trusted advisor is, they again stumble explaining and admitted that they have never asked their customers why they buy from them.
Next, I would suggest that “Trusted Advisor” has limitations. Going beyond advisor is really getting to a higher level for both buyer and customer. First, you can’t become a “Trusted Advisor” to a prospect until they’ve determined you are a person that they can trust.
The key to earning trust is understanding what the buyer values, what their compelling reasons are and the criteria they use for evaluating who they’re going to trust doing business with.
There are four basic criteria the buyer is using:
- Does your product/service overcome the pain of change?
- Do they believe your solution meets their compelling reasons to buy?
- Is your solution viable for them to implement?
- Does the buyer trust you and your company to deliver on your commitments and promises?
Beyond Trusted Advisor – becoming a Trusted Asset
Your goal, with all of your clients, should be to move from trusted advisor to Trusted Asset. You can accomplish that only by constantly putting the client first, and by going beyond the scope of the definition of your professional opinion. Stating it differently, if you believe and follow the guidelines of a Trusted Asset, in reality, you are a Trusted Friend.
Contact Samurai Business Group today if you are looking for a trusted asset or trusted friend.