Succeeding In The New World Of Sales
Haven’t you heard? Sales is dead.
The world of the customer has changed. There’s more choice, more low-cost options and more information freely available than ever before.
Customers can help themselves, and they don’t trust salespeople. A recent extensive study of B2B buyers revealed that only 18% of salespeople were regarded as trusted advisors whom they respect, and only 31% were able to converse effectively with senior executives.
B2B buyers are skeptical of salespeople, and they don’t want a self-serving salesperson irritating them, and they don’t need a sales person to get information or place an order.
I’m sure this isn’t news to you if you’re in sales or responsible for growing client relationships you may be acutely feeling it. The difficulty of getting meetings, the stress of meeting targets, the pressure of closing deals or retaining that big client.
Graham Hawkins author and founder of SalesTribe writes about the forces changing sales. Hawkins explains how B2B sales has been turned upside down in the last decade, the good old days are gone, and the balance of power has shifted from 'vendor push to customer pull'.
"...every sales person on the planet now understands that buyers will no longer tolerate being ‘pushed." - Graham Hawkins
You might be applying band-aid solutions like discounting or more prospecting to meet targets and keep your clients. Also, I’m sure you’ve seen the articles and memes doing the rounds on LinkedIn about the high percentage of people in sales missing targets and the forecast downsizing of the industry.
So, What Now?
But wait a minute, if sales is dead, how are organisations winning clients, making money and growing? Of course, sales isn’t dead. However, the old playbook doesn’t work. So, sales is being reborn, and there’s a new breed of salesperson in town. They understand the need to develop their clients’ trust, offer transformative solutions AND be able to sell this to the client at the same time. Their client's trusted advisor.
You might be one of them, the top 18%. Or maybe you know you can do better, you’re aware of how things have changed, but you don’t know what to do about it.
Be A Trusted Advisor To Your Client
Being a trusted advisor is multi-dimensional, which is why a lot of people struggle with the concept.
Your client needs to trust you, and you need to focus on them. You need to give them stellar advice and solutions that help them. Your advice also needs to marry with your own needs; to meet your targets, to acquire new clients, to keep your existing ones, or to grow a profitable business. Striking a balance between the two is a hurdle to becoming a trusted advisor. Setting aside your needs and focusing on your clients takes a lot of confidence and practice. You can read my tips on how to do this here.
And when you do get it right and forge a great client relationship, you can’t rest on your laurels. Trusted relationships are not set in stone. They need the right sort of attention to flourish.
But the rewards when you get it right are worth the effort. You’ll be adding a lot of value. You’re in the know, consulted before others in your industry and able to help shape your client’s agenda. You’ve got a more reliable business, longer-term clients and new sales happen with less friction. There are five essential skills that you need to master to be a trusted advisor.
Master These Five Skills To Be A Trusted Advisor:
Practising great conversations
Being the best listener on the block
Understanding your client’s story
Showing your client, you understand them
Using the magic of a great pitch
You can read more about these five skills, along with tips for each in my free guide.
I wrote this to share with you my secrets to becoming your clients’ trusted advisor and a leader of the new breed of salespeople.
Like this article?
Sign up for our newsletter to get more just like this delivered straight to your inbox.
This article was originally posted on 30th April 2018 here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/succeeding-new-world-sales-anthony-joseph/