According to a Buyer Preference study conducted by CSO Insights in 2018, only 7.9% of customers view salespersons as “trusted advisors.” Trusted advisor status is the highest level of customer-seller relationship and means that “sellers are seen as having a unique understanding of both the buying and selling organizations, players, and markets.”
Through our 20+ years of experience making value clear and assisting sales and customer success teams at some of the largest technology organizations in the world, we have put together “Seven Rules of Engaging with a Prospect” that will help you earn trusted advisor status with your prospects and customers:
Rule #1: Focus on the prospect.
Before engaging with a prospect, you have researched the individual and the organization. You understand who the decision-makers are relevant to your sale. You understand their language, their objectives, and their motivations.
Rule #2: Make it safe.
The prospect understands that your intent is to arrive upon the best path for them, not the best path for your organization. The prospect, therefore, trusts that engaging in subsequent conversations with you will add value.
Rule #3: If it doesn’t add value, subtract.
Stay tight and concise in your communications.
Rule #4: Tell them something they don’t know.
You bring a level of knowledge and education reflective of your position as the market leader in your industry, and you share that information with the prospect in order to affect positive business outcomes.
Rule #5: Remember that you have earned the right.
You approach contacts as business equals in language, tone, and approach.
Rule #6: Use a credible and specific voice.
Dive deep with your prospects and cite relevant data of interest to objectives at various levels within their organization.
Rule #7: Deliver a compelling call to action.
Your suggested next steps should be clear and offer value.