In 1988 before I launched my speaking and consulting business and become known as a sales and leadership expert, I was a regional manager for a computer company. In that capacity, I learned a critical lesson about sales that has served me—and my clients—ever since.
In my region I was responsible for several distributors, and the reps were always complaining to me and demanding more leads. The trouble was that they couldn’t handle the leads I did give them because they didn’t have the necessary sales skills. When I reached the peak of my frustration over the issue, I went to a manager and asked if I could come in and share some sales skills with the reps. He answered with an immediate yes.
I got together with the reps one night over pizza and shared the skills that I had used to grow my business. After that, my business with them shot up exponentially. They were able to use the skills I had given them in selling the entire product line, and, better still, when it came to selling my category, I was at the forefront of their minds. This is what I call becoming part of the inner fabric. Because I had been able to help identify some gaps and give them solutions, the reps realized I was invested in their success. When you become a part of your customer’s inner fabric, it is really tough for the competition to kick you out. The customer needs you because you help them solve problems and grow their business, which makes you a critical part of their operation. Once you’ve reached that trusted advisor status, there really isn’t any competition.
What are you doing to become a trusted advisor? Are you only talking about your products and services? Or are you discussing other issues that your customer is having and helping them find solutions? When you help your customer solve problems, you weave yourself into the fabric of their business and their success. Click on this link and learn how to do this.