Key Strategies for Meeting Client Expectations in Sales
Your clients have a set of needs they expect you to be able to fulfill. Excelling in these areas enhances your results. Neglecting them, however, opens the door for competitors to step in and provide the assistance your client seeks. Here, you will find a set of common things your ideal client needs you to provide. These first three are from my friend Charles H. Green.
Building Credibility with Potential Clients
The most fundamental trait your client requires you to have is credibility. A lack of credibility raises doubts about your advice and recommendations. Credibility is the cornerstone of trust in any client relationship.
Ensuring Reliability in Sales and Client Relations
Clients already face numerous challenges in our uncertain and fast-changing world. An unreliable salesperson only compounds these issues by preventing clients from getting good advice when they need it. Reliability is key, and your discipline in this area can solidify their choice in you as a trusted partner.
Creating Intimate Client Relationships in Sales
Intimacy entails deeply understanding your client's specific needs. Those who lack this quality risk losing clients to salespeople who are more in tune with the company and industry specifics. This concept extends to what can be termed “deskside manner,” the ability to grasp the nuances of the client's business and individual requirements.
Adopting a Client-Centric Approach in Sales
Many salespeople focus too narrowly on their solutions. Shifting your perspective to prioritize the client's challenges and the outcomes they seek to achieve is crucial for developing a client-centric approach.
Building Effective Business Rapport in B2B Sales
Your aim is not personal rapport, but business rapport. Given the workload of most clients, they perceive attempts at personal rapport in initial meetings as a waste of time. In B2B sales, your role is that of a business advisor.
Maintaining Professionalism in Sales Engagements
Professionalism is non-negotiable, and subtle cues can significantly impact your client’s perception of your level of competence in this area. Avoid using strategies and techniques that diminish your seriousness and professionalism. Clients will place a great amount of value on how you present yourself, so be mindful of what you communicate at all times.
Demonstrating Expertise in Your Field
Clients facing significant decisions often seek expertise. Your guidance and ability to prove that you are an authority on their situation is more critical than the products or solutions you offer.
Providing Insightful Guidance to Business Clients
Clients seek insights that aid in making educated decisions that will lead to successful outcomes. A lack of insight can prompt your contact to search for someone else who can provide them with the information and education they need.
Leading the Client through the Sales Process
Your client doesn’t know what they don’t know. They expect you to be able to guide them through the sales process and their buyer’s journey. Occasionally, you will find some who comments on all things sales suggest the client should lead. Your client will find they are in better hands with someone who knows how to help them pursue a change and improve their business outcomes.
Understanding and Solving Client Problems Effectively
Your prospect needs you to know their problem far better than they do. When you ask decision-makers about their problem, pain points, and gaps, you project that you are not already aware of their problem, causing them to wonder if you are the right person for this job. If you don’t know your client’s problem well enough to help them understand its nature and root causes, they will seek someone who knows more than you.
Guiding Clients in Weighing Decision-Making Factors
When a client is rarely called to make a major decision, they need a salesperson who can help them to understand how to weigh the most important factors and identify those not likely to contribute to their future success. Salespeople who can’t wait to share their solution will not meet the client’s need to approach the decision with an analytical eye.
Educating Clients on Different Business Models
In every industry, there are a few different models for producing an outcome. There is always a low-price model, a scaled-up low-price model, a good-enough model, and a best-in-class model. Because your client is trying to improve their results while also trying to get the best deal for their company, you need to help them recognize the concessions that come with each model.
Delivering Strategic Outcomes for Client Business Improvement
In the end, your client needs you to deliver the strategic outcomes that will improve their business and results.
Fulfilling Your Obligations to Clients in Sales
You have an obligation to serve your clients, ensuring they get what they need to make the right decision and succeed with your help. The list above is a good start, but know that your client may need something else from you.
In the third decade of the 21st century, there is greater uncertainty than there was in the past. This uncertainty requires you to be able to provide your client with the confidence and certainty that they can make the changes that will improve their business and their results.
Make a list of what your clients need to be able to make a change. If you are missing any of the qualities listed here, assess how they will help you help your client, while also proving you are the right person to buy from.