Friday, March 30, 2012

How to Become a Trusted Advisor: Capitalizing on a Critical Trust Event

How to Become a Trusted Advisor: Capitalizing on a Critical Trust Event

Every sales professional wants to become a trusted advisor, someone who customers call when they need help. A trusted advisor delivers solid, valuable advice that shortcuts finding a solution so that the customer can focus on what they do best by letting the sales pro deliver the services they do best. Read on to learn about the Critical Trust Event, the situation that transforms an ordinary sales person into a trusted advisor.

What creates trust in your customers? Is it your promises? Is it your guarantee? Is it your customer list? Is it your market share? If you are counting on any of these to create trust, you are sadly mistaken.

Customers don't really trust what you've done for others. They only really trust what you've done for them in challenging situations.

Trust Comes From Performance

It takes eleven positive events to overcome a single negative event. This means you must build up many positive situations to create trust. Your customers can only trust you after they see personal evidence of trustworthy behavior. This means you have to perform to gain trust. Show up on time: get a trust point. Deliver your proposal on time: gain a trust point. Keep your word: gain a trust point. Be viewed as having integrity: gain a trust point. When you perform to the expectations you set with your customer, you get a trust point. Miss that expectation and you lose eleven points.

When The Chips are Down, Amplify Trust

You can gain many, many points if you can deliver in an emergency. This is a Critical Trust Event. Your customer has to get a new product on line in the next 24 hours. With your help, you can get them back on line. You have tickets to see your favorite band in concert this evening. What do you do? You get to choose.

If you forgo the show (give the tickets to another customer and you get double points) and get your customer on line, you've just generated 100 trust points. And if you play your cards right, you might get the boss to hire your favorite band to play at Presidents Club. (It's happened!)

Guard Trust Like it's Solid Gold

Do everything you can to keep all the trust points you can. This means you can't take your eye off the ball. A few moments of inattention and you can destroy all that work you've done. This is why sales professionals don't like to take like to take vacations. (Although if you create your backup systems, you can. That's another article.)

Mark S. A. Smith is an electrical engineer, computer programmer, hardware salesman, software marketer, and business owner who now works with IT sales professionals to sell disruptive technologies.

Mark has written 11 books and sales guides on a wide variety of IT technology targeting government, educational, healthcare and the private sector. He has authored more than 350 magazine articles.

With his engineering, sales, and business background, he can teach technical information in a way that sales people and management understand so that they can clearly communicate with their customers at all levels.

In this article, Mark just wants to share his insights into dealing with rapidly growing technology capabilities.

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