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Benchmarks to Becoming a Trusted Advisor

benchmarks verify learning progress

henribarberApril 20, 2015Blog

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In our  last blog post we  discussed, as a trusted advisor,  how to earn your seat at the table as part of the buying process so that you are able to help shape opportunities rather than just react to them. Today we are going to review the road to becoming a trusted advisor to buyers and the several relationship benchmarks that sales professionals need to keep in mind on their journey.

Few things are more important than preparation when meeting with a buyer. How well you prepare can immediately differentiate you from the competition. The focus of your efforts should cover three important areas:

  1. Strategic impact: What business goals and objectives is the buyer supporting with this purchase?
  2. Buyer needs: What’s important to the buyer on both a business and personal level?
  3. Technical preparation: Do you have a thorough knowledge of the product or service you’re selling?
Being prepared in the right ways, focusing on these three areas, can go a long way toward securing that elusive second meeting with buyers, especially on the executive level. If you don’t ask the right questions, if you can’t provide executives something they don’t already know, why should they buy from you?

How to Build Trust by Focusing on the Right Success Indicators

Another important consideration in your preparations is to focus on leading, not lagging, indicators of success. Doing so adds relevancy to the conversation.

At Richardson Sales Performance, we talk about different value lenses, with different facets to view how we present these leading indicators, and ourselves, to buyers:

  • Financial: How are we helping buyers meet their financial goals?
  • Technology: Are we helping them to steer clear of the noise and hype that surrounds technology solutions to focus on what really matters?
  • Strategy: Does our solution fit within the overarching goals of the buyer?
  • Partnership: Are we making a solid case for the value of working with Richardson Sales Performance?
In our Trusted Advisor Sales Training Program, we overlay the preparation model on these value lenses. This gives sales professionals a practical framework and the tools to think in depth about the behaviors needed to become a trusted advisor. And you get a better idea of how to address leading indicators, because these will be the measure of success, and how likely you are to close a deal instead of having it stall in the pipeline.

By recognizing some of the benchmarks of becoming a trusted advisor, you can begin to have higher-level conversations with buyers about their current and long-term objectives, challenges, strategies, and opportunities. Then you can position your value while demonstrating insight and technical substance. And, in the process, become that go-to professional all your results-driven buyers will want to have sitting alongside them at the table.

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