Off the Cuff Interview Question:
What would you say is the first vital step for a company in becoming a trusted sales advisor for clients?
The vital first step in becoming a trusted advisor is to demonstrate trustworthiness in all your interactions with the client. That extends to every encounter that anyone on your team has with anyone on the client’s team. How do you demonstrate trust?
By practicing what The Whale Hunters® call the “abilities” of trust. These are
- Capable-ity. Demonstrate that you’re capable. Teach them something new. Explain how something worked well in another company like theirs, or in another industry that they might not have known about.
- Connectable-ity. Speak to them in language that they understand. Relate to their business needs, their concerns, and their strategic objectives.
- Credible-ity. Show them evidence from objective sources. Compute the ROI. Offer solid references and good science. Answer questions knowledgeably and happily.
- Likeable-ity. Be the kind of people that other people enjoy having around. Be respectful to their staff at all levels. Be courteous and kind. Have a sense of humor. Don’t be a jerk.
- Reliable-ity. Show up when you said you would. Do what you promised. Keep your word. Don’t cheat. Apologize when you’re wrong or when things go wrong. Make and keep small promises. “I’ll get back to you Thursday.” And when Thursday comes, so does your call.
- Adaptable-ity. If it’s not right, fix it. If it needs to be changed, change it. If it needs to be changed again, change it again. Be on their team. Be on their side. Be sure the rest of your team is on their side, too. You’re in business because they are your client.
- Generous-ity. Give them more than they bought. More than they asked for. More than you promised. Give first. Give often. Give them ideas, attention, empathy, insight, and whatever wisdom you can muster up to make their job easier and their outcomes amazing.
You can’t simply say “trust me.” Only your everyday actions can speak that language for you.
(This piece is derived from The Whale Hunters activities known as The Trust Cycle™ and The Trust Cycle Audit™)
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