Caring is at the heart of consultative selling. Transactional selling models are built on not caring. This is why they often unwittingly destroy trust. Here is how you can care more, create more trust, and by doing so, create greater value.
Be Client-Focused: The more focused you are on yourself, the less focused you are on your client. The more you let go of what you believe you need and focus on helping your dream client get what they need, the easier it is to sell. Being client-focused means you care more about their outcome than serving yourself. This caring creates trust. And it moves you up levels as a value creator.
Be Collaborative: If you want your dream client to really open up in discovery, ask them to share their ideas. You aren’t building a solution for people who don’t already have ideas and opinions of their own. In a lot of cases, they may have more experience than you do—especially the experience of working within the four walls of their company. The more you make anything you propose “ours,” the more you prove you care about your client’s ideas and outcomes.
Make and Keep Commitments: When you care, you keep the commitments you make, large and small. You ask your prospective clients to make and keep commitments as you move together through the sales process. You also make lots of commitments, some so small you believe that they are meaningless. But your dream client is keeping score. When you care about the details, you create greater trust.
Have a Presence: Nothing proves you care more than having a presence at your prospect’s or client’s location. It proves you care enough to show up and keep showing up. When your client has a major issue and you show up to help, you are building your relationship on a foundation of trust.
Ask for Commitments You’ve Earned: You want to prove you don’t care, destroy trust, and slip down levels of value? One of the fastest ways to do so is to ask for commitments that you haven’t earned. If you haven’t created enough value or built enough trust to ask for a commitment, go back and do the work first. Equally, if you have done the work, you owe it to your client to help them move forward, and this means you have to ask for the next commitment. In fact, doing less is to prove you don’t care and can’t be trusted.
These five behaviors are within your control. All five prove you care, build trust, and move you up the levels of value creation. The opposite behaviors move you down levels as a value creator.
What behaviors do you sometimes engage in that make you something less than client-focused?
How do you ensure you are collaborative?
What are the commitments you make but sometimes overlook?
Presence? You got one, bro?
Do you ever ask for commitments you haven’t earned? Do you always ask for the ones you have?