Do Your Clients Consider You a Trusted Advisor?
How to become a trusted advisor as a salesperson should be one of the first questions you ask. As salespeople who want to help their clients to succeed, we all hope to attain the position of a trusted advisor to an influential executive within our key accounts.
The Benefits of Being a Trusted Advisor
In this coveted and hard-earned spot, you have proven your value to the company, enjoy the confidence of the decision maker, can influence the sales process, and are able to present insights, products and solutions early in the game to help your client succeed.
How do you know when you have achieved this lofty standing?
Five Signs You Have Become a Trusted Advisor
According to executive selling training experts, here are five key signs you have become a trusted advisor:
1. They Reach Out to You for Advice
If your client asks for advice both inside and outside of your specific area of expertise, that is the first sign that they trust your character and trust your competence.
Just imagine if the opposite was true and you had a tough time getting in touch with your client to offer them insights, advice or value as a salesperson.
2. They Bring You Into their Inner Circle
If your client makes you privy to confidential information about the company and, perhaps, to the executive’s personal and professional goals, problems and needs, they consider you part of their team.
Just imagine if the opposite was true and your client withheld important information from you because they felt you were just trying to “sell them stuff.”
3. They Involve You in the Strategy and Planning Process
If your client invites you to attend key planning meetings and asks for your thoughts regarding key directions, strategies, initiatives and decisions, they appreciate the value you bring in shaping their decisions.
Just imagine if the opposite was true and your clients only reached out to you after all the decisions were already made.
4. They Consider You Part of the Tribe
If your client regularly gives you an advantage in future opportunities because you have early information, prior knowledge and rarely face external competition or pricing pressure, they consider you a valuable part of their success.
Just imagine if the opposite was true and your clients always had you compete against others during the sales process based upon having the same information as everyone else.
5. They Give You Special Privileges
If your client provides you with long-term employee badges, parking, office space, email, portal access and other “rights” more associated with employees than vendors or sales reps, your relationship and status as a trusted advisor is headed in the right direction.
The Bottom Line
If these trusted advisor signs mark your relationship with an executive, you have a decided advantage over your competitors. Don’t squander it!
To learn more about how to become a trusted advisor, Download our Sales Leadership Toolkit Now
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