In many businesses, it is the people that matter. The personal relationship and trust that a long term relationship elevates a vendor into A Trusted Advisor.
Think of professional services. Would you be upset if a different consultant than the one you’ve worked with for months showed up one day, or are all consultants exactly the same? The particular person you work with trumps the brands they’re associated with.
A Trusted Advisor status with a client is a major differentiator. It moves the relationship from that of a transactional facilitator (fine, but average) to a trusted advisor (differentiated and valued).
How Important Is Being a Trusted Advisor?
Recent research revealed that 84% of customers who did not renew their annual contracts with an insurance company either had an antagonistic or transactional relationship with the provider.
Customers who had a transactional relationship with the representatives at an IT Value Added Reseller (VAR) gave the company on average 14% of their available business. This jumped to 47% where the buyer perceived the VAR’s salespeople to be a trusted advisor. That’s a 33% difference that can be attributed solely to relationship strength!
What Is a Trusted Advisor?
The six dimensions of a trusted advisor are generally developed in order — in other words, #1 is established before #6.
- Integrity. The prospect perceives you to be reliable, dependable, and trustworthy.
- Competency. The prospect believes that you and your product/service can deliver. Your company is perceived to have the tools, processes, and people in place to make good on promises.
- Recognition. The prospect feels that you treat them as an individual instead of a number.
- Proactivity. The prospect believes you are actively looking out for their best interest and that they aren’t going to encounter any unexpected surprises with your product/service.
- Savvy. The prospect feels that you understand the issues they care about.
- Chemistry. The prospect enjoys working with you and thinks your communication “clicks.”
But here’s the catch with these dimensions: They’re pillars, not behaviours.
For more information regarding all elements of sales best practice, ProAptivity can help. Contact us today on 028 9099 6388 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org