The Trusted Advisor
Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector
Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.
I’d like to share the Salesforce 2016 State of Sales Report which researched 3100 sales professionals including many who sell in Australia. Check it out the insights are interesting.
Two relevant findings
– 79% of business buyers say it is absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor and who adds value to their business
– 87% of sales professionals say it’s absolutely critical or very important to connect with customers F2F
A trusted advisor?
Today business people particularly in the SME sector want to work with a trusted advisor, not a self-interested sales rep. Now you might be sceptical about this but another piece of research from Brookside Group demonstrates its importance via this example: 82% of customers who did not renew their annual contracts either had an antagonistic or transactional relationship with the provider.
Creating a trusting relationship requires a mindset and a set of actions. You must truly believe it’s your mission to help customers solve problems. Salespeople who mentally calculate their commission during a sale will quickly be seen for what they are; self- interested.
It’s the “relationship mindset” that’s needed to approach the sales process with authenticity, passion, and positive intent. Relationship selling is focused on the customer and their needs. This in turn leads to trust.
You cannot become a trusted advisor without regular F2F contact.
In a world where virtual communication governs most of our interactions with others, you might consider face to face an outdated practice. After all people are too busy to meet you, right?
By meeting face to face, you have the ability to make eye contact an important factor in determining whether a person can be trusted. It is estimated that around 90% of how we communicate is through body language. By taking the time to meet personally with a client, you offer them a chance to see your facial expressions and body language, which helps to demonstrate sincerity and build trust.
Apart from body language F2F meetings allow you to build a personal connection – to make yourself “real”.
Meeting with customers can also assist in decision making. In situations where a customer may need some persuasion, personal interaction is critical. By being in the same room as the customer you can immediately answer any questions and gauge their overall mood.
Look at the numbers. The research is clear – a trusted advisor with a personal F2F relationship wins both short term and long term.
Until next week good selling!
About the author
Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org