If you Google “Trusted Advisor” for sales, you would find all types of blogs, articles, and buzz around these two seemingly simple words.
Let’s take a second and breakdown the words “Trusted Advisor” according to the Oxford Dictionary:
- Trust – assumed reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed.
- Advisor – someone who gives advice.
In your customer conversations, are you someone who has relied upon speaking the truth to your customers by delivering advice/guidance in helping them to solve a problem? If you engage this way on every customer conversation, you never really close!
Here is the take away from the above statement: Great communicators don’t close; they solve problems that lead their customers to feel the urgency and need to change. For me, this helped break the mold of how I was trained for years – “the A,B,C’s – Always Be Closing.” The difference between gaining commitment vs. closing is that stress is reduced based on a customer vs. me focus.
For most sales professionals, the anxiety and Cortisol start flowing as you feel yourself building up to the close. At Braintrust, we want you to change your mindset about gaining commitment. What if you start gaining commitment from the very beginning of the process?
To prove this, over the past few months our blogs have followed a process:
- Build a personal connection
- Align with your customer objectives and challenges
- Define the gap that he/she is facing
- Bring in your product/solution to solve the problem your customers face
- Remove barriers that lead up to you gaining commitment
When we train communicators to think about this, we ask them to think about the beginning – “How did you build an authentic personal connection and align with your customers’ objectives and challenges?” This is the key to gaining commitment. You become the trusted advisor, you can then look forward to asking the million-dollar question – “What would you like to do?”
What makes this work so effectively is throughout this entire process, your customer is the hero of the conversation, not your product. By placing the focus on them, you can create an atmosphere where your customer feels both confident and comfortable as you gain commitment. If you set this up correctly, your product then becomes the solution to their problem. Go for it – put the power in their hands, you might be surprised by the results.
In Jeff Bloomfield’s new book NeuroSelling®, he writes it out this way.
“I recommend saying something like this, “Mr. Customer, based on the conversation we’ve had today, the problem you’re experiencing and how much it’s actually costing you, it seems like our solution is the perfect fit, what would you like to do?”
Here is the take away – become the trusted advisor you have desired to be by letting your customer drive. If done properly, you have then earned the right to ask the question.
Mastering the Coaching Conversation
Coaches, this process goes for you as well. You can ask the same question to your team members – “What would you like to do?” I have highlighted the word you because the power goes to the team member.
As a trusted advisor, you are empowering your players to align with their objectives and challenges. Have you noticed how power sits in the middle of empowerment? Take the pressure off yourself. You don’t have to be the hero of the conversation, but your team members should be. When this happens you will witness an increase in both action and commitment that will keep your team moving forward.