When You Must Be Impartial

A salesperson asked me a very important question. He asked, “How can you be a trusted advisor and consultative salesperson when you are partial to your company?” His point was that if your company and your solution is always right in all cases, then you aren’t giving them the best advice when it is not true.

There are a number of factors worth discussing here, the first of which is qualification. If your solution is not right for your prospective client or your your company, then you are right to disqualify them and advise them to do something different. By giving up the deal now, you don’t fail the prospect, and you don’t bring in clients your company is not able to serve.

The second factor is a bit trickier. It involves your belief in your company, your solution, and your ability to serve your prospect better than someone else. When you believe that what you sell is a commodity and a lower price is a better deal, you are not being impartial. The fact that you find differentiating more difficult isn’t impartiality. Instead, you are really just skeptical of your company’s business model.

When you believe that because your solution is more difficult to sell, it makes another choice better because it is easier, you are not being impartial. There are always going to be competitors who choose to make selling easier by lowering their prices, making concessions, allowing the client to believe that producing better results won’t require them to change, and a dozen other strategies that allow them to win by saying yes to things that you cannot say yes too. These things do not make the competitor a better choice; they just make it more difficult for you to win.

You can be impartial as it pertains to the advice you give your prospective client, but that impartiality should be exercised early in your conversations. By being impartial, you place the relationship above the transaction, increasing the likelihood that you gain an opportunity to work with them in the future.

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