One of the primary attributes of successful people is that they take initiative. They don’t wait to be told what to do. They don’t wait for someone to ask them to do something. And when they want something, they pay for it in advance by doing the work that ensures that they get it.

Being proactive and taking initiative is how salespeople develop high value strategic relationships that create lifetime clients. Their clients depend on them to generate and bring them ideas that make a difference.

Generating Ideas That Make Difference

Your clients expect you to bring them ideas. They need you to bring them the ideas that help them to take their business to the next level, to generate even greater results. They aren’t subject matter experts in your industry, and they are counting on you to help them understand what’s next.

While they are working on their business, they expect you, their partner, to be thinking about how they can generate greater results. They expect you (and your team) to generate ideas. What needs to be changed? What isn’t working as well as it could? What ideas are you implementing for other clients that might benefit them? What could you develop together that would allow them to produce better results?

These questions aren’t always easy to answer. But the more difficult the question, the more important the answer. You and your teamhave to take the initiative to ask and answer these questions because your clients are counting on you to continue to make a differencefor them and their business.

Once you have ideas, you have to share them.

Sharing Ideas and Building Consensus

You don’t wait to be asked for ideas. That is being reactive, the opposite of what we are talking about here. You need to bring your clients ideas without being asked. You need to be proactive.

When you generate ideas, you need to share them in the meetings you have with your clients. You need to create the support for the change your ideas require, just like you did when you sold the account. You must also share your ideas in your quarterly business reviewmeetings. That more formal environment requires a more substantial proposal, but it is proof positive of your continued efforts to make a difference. It shows you are taking initiative. That’s a differentiator.

You have to generate and share ideas because that is what you were hired to do. You were hired to own an outcome. You were hired to help generate results. You were hired to be part of their management team, and you were hired to help your client maintain a competitive advantage. Doing less than this means you aren’t the best partner that you are capable of being.


What does it mean to take initiative or to be proactive?

What do your clients expect from you as it pertains to your initiative?

How do you work with your team to generate ideas that will benefit your clients?

How do you share the ideas you create with your clients?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on August 28, 2011
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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