Beyond the pitch? The person.
As salespeople, we all know how to communicate what sets our product and service apart from the competition. Whether it’s 24/7 service. The largest inventory. Your company’s added value. Yet, many of us fail to realize what else we bring to the table: our decidedly unique perspective.
The fact is your relationship with your client should consist of many roles that go far beyond the product or service or company you represent. And, to be effective, each must be enhanced with your own individual style. Take a look at the following roles you bring to the table, and think about how your clients would value them. But let me assure you that each of these qualities is inherent in all rainmakers, the sales leaders in your particular industry.
1. Knowledge sharer. Your understanding of an entire industry, and what leads to success or failure, is unequaled. After all, how often do clients have the opportunity to speak to someone who has been in forty or fifty companies that do similar things that they do? Very rarely. Naturally, we’re not looking to tell one client another client’s business. But, specifics aside, you can certainly convey the insight you have gained, and offer advice and recommendations based on that insight.
2. Forecaster. If a client is struggling when creating a new marketing project, or planning an expansion, or recruiting talent, these may be situations that you’ve also experienced. So why not protect your client from making moves that have pitfalls based on what you’ve seen and/or observed? You possess a unique ability to predict an outcome based on people who have done similar projects and had the same type of issues that their competition would have. So what pain can you help your client avoid?
3. Recruiter. Many years ago, a consultant told me about the technique of redshirting. It’s the practice of finding people that you think might be great for your company or great for a friend of yours. Basically, you categorize that prospect similar to what they do in college football when they “redshirt” to protect a player. As a salesperson, I oftentimes help people with recruiting individuals, and I keep a running file of folks I know that may be looking for work, and/or are talented at what they do. Since my clients know this, they often call and ask me, “Do you know anybody looking to do this?”
4. Business builder. You can help your clients grow their business. Personally, I don’t just provide ideas about how to recruit new business. I actually get leads for my clients. I tell colleagues, “If you’re looking for this service, you should call this guy.” Not as many people do referrals as you may think. So, when a referral does happen, oftentimes clients never know the link. That’s why I always let a client know when I’ve referred his or her company.
5. Trend-sayer. Clients are very, very busy running their own companies. And as much as they want to stay on top on what’s happening in the market, many times that takes a backseat to putting out daily fires. Become the barometer or the weather vane of the industry. Let clients know what’s going on, and what you’re seeing.
When you actively engage in these roles, in addition to your role as a salesperson, what you have are highly personalized benefits that make you an invaluable resource to your clients. All too often we talk about branding products and services. I suggest you also brand yourself as an industry expert, resource and confidant. That’s what you alone bring to the table.
That’s Q from the Street