You have a choice as to what your clients know you as.
A Provider of Products and Services
Your clients may know you as the salesperson that provides them with some product or service. You may have the very best product on the market. You may provide the very best services on earth. It is good to be known for providing great products and great services.
But if you are business-to-business salesperson, you need to be known as something more than the salesperson that provides your product or service.
A Provider of Great Experiences
Your company may provide your clients with a great experience. You may lead that charge, providing your clients with killer support and a killer experience. In fact, you may be the easiest company to do business with, and you may leave everyone feeling that they had a wonderful experience working with you and your company.
If you sold directly to consumers, providing a great product or service with a great experience may be enough to retain your clients for a lifetime. But if you sell business-to-business, you are going to need to be known as something more than the salesperson that provides a great client experience.
A Provider of Business Results
To succeed in business-to-business sales, as a salesperson or as a sales organization, at minimum you need to be known for producing real business results. Being able to provide your dream clients with business results will be enough for you to win business.
Being able to provide a great product or service, a great experience, and real business results will go a long way towards winning, retaining, and growing your dream clients. In fact, you have most of the game won at this point.
But this isn’t what you might known as if you wanted to go further, if you wanted to be something more, if you wanted to be the very top of your game. To do that, you have to create an even higher level of value for your clients.
A Provider of Strategic Advantage
To be as much as you can be, to be much as your client needs you to be, you have provide a good product or service, a good experience, and good business results. You may not have the best offering in every one of these categories—and maybe not even in one of these categories. To create the highest level of value for your clients and be known as a strategic partner, you have to provide your client with a competitive advantage. Having you on their team can be that advantage.
But, you have to have the business acumen, the situational knowledge, and the resources to help them think about and solve their biggest business challenges. You have to bring them ideas.
You’d also have to act as a part of their management team, helping to define their future and helping them to move towards it. You’d have to own your line on their profit and loss statement, helping them to generate greater revenue, greater profit, or lower costs.
You’d also have to have the leadership and change management skills necessary to build consensus and move their team forward with you.
You’d have to help the client to serve their clients and all of their internal stakeholders.
You would have to do all this because your relationship itself is the source of that competitive advantage. You would be strategic partner.
If you want to be known as a consultative selling, trusted advisor, this is what is necessary to being known as such.
What do your clients know you as?
What could they know you as?
What actions would you have to take to be known as something more. Make a list of five actions.
What outcomes would you have to help your clients achieve. Make a list of five outcomes?
Who could you be to your clients? To someone else?