EVOLVING FROM SALES REP TO TRUSTED ADVISOR
The first couple challenges of sales are to be perceived by prospects / clients as both relevant and trusted. If we’re lucky and do the first part right, clients might eventually deem us so irreplaceable as to follow us wherever we go.
[CD cover art – Hive Mind Okazaki, Miles / Dunn, Trevor / Weiss, Dan]
Two tools from my sales shed:
Bring your customers…customers. This one is easy if we understand our client’s ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). After we have been in sales for a while, maybe we’re are a great net-worker, have built not only a prospect database but a Rolodex of friendly competitors, freelance hired guns, industry gurus, and other assets, we’re in a great position to link two or more of these together. At one point, while selling only labels, I had 40% of my customers connected to each other. The benefits were many, starting with hearing from my referrals about client’s upcoming projects, expansion, marketing, and new designs BEFORE I knew! We’re all just one person…until we’re not. A Hive Mind (shameless self-promotion) enables the individual to become infinite. Knowing our client’s business well enough to know their ICP makes us indispensable.
Solve their problems. I recently had a problem with a product that I purchased from one of my clients. Doing some looking online, I found that I was not the only one. Though experiencing some astronomical growth, their BBB rating has some harsh criticisms. It gave me an idea. One of my Hive associates just happened to offer a potential solution AND has some heavy duty FDA chops to boot! The referral may be a godsend…or go nowhere. Either way, neither party will forget that I tried to bring them a client or bring them a solution. I decided to check out all of my customer’s BBB, Chamber of Commerce, Facebook, and Google reviews. If I see a posted problem and we can come up with a solution (preferably using a Hive Mind associate) it’s time to make a new connection!