Now you know that you need to have real and valuable information to share with your customer in order to create value for them. How do you know when and if the information is relevant and effective? Let the following tests guide the development of your point of view and the advice you offer to your customers.
- Do your ideas provide your potential client with something they don't already know? Everything you share with your customer should not be unknown to them. However, it is useful to have ideas or a perspective that offers your client a new way of thinking about their business, its challenges or its opportunities thanks to this modern business approach.
- Does your knowledge allow you to make sense of your client's world, including the strategic results he is looking for? Your ideas must take into account the dissonance felt by your contacts, their uncertainty or their confusion about how to react to a world increasingly marked by accelerating and disruptive changes. Your ideas are more valuable if they eliminate dissonance and help your clients clarify what they should do now.
- Do your ideas support the recommendations you were going to make to your client? All of your ideas and ideas should lead to – and support – the advice you are going to give to your customers. Even if the presentation of your ideas may not seem to justify an individual change, when combined, the logical conclusion should be the advice you offer. Combined, your ideas support your point of view.
- Does the data and your experience support your ideas? One of the challenges we face in consultative sales is that we have done our homework by reading and following all the trends and factors that could harm our customers. We also have experience working in our industry to recognize certain models that our customers have not yet recognized. Because this is true, your ideas should help your customers catch up. The data, stories and evidence you provide all need to help your customers see what you see, perhaps for the first time.
- Does it provide your prospect with the perspective that allows them to see their business through a higher resolution lens? Much of convincing change and helping your customers to produce better results starts with shaping your customer's goal. What you share with your customers should help them see something at a much higher resolution than they would otherwise.
- Does your analysis suggest implications for your customers' future results? There are many trends and factors that you may find interesting, and while novelty is important, if there are no implications for your customers, your knowledge is not valuable for your contacts. Your point of view and your point of view should include a rationale for doing something different. If what you share is not going to harm or help your customers, this is not a useful overview. Different perspectives and perspectives are useful, because one can be useful to a customer even if it is not particularly important for another.
- Does he force to change? A convincing change is the practical and tactical result of information-based selling. Everything you spend time chatting with your contacts should be designed to force them to change, take new actions, or do something differently to produce a better result, creating a higher level of value (something you you can find out more in Eat Their Lunch: Winning customers away from your competition).
- Do your ideas and their implications lead to advice on the actions your potential client takes? You need to lead your client to an understanding that leads to the advice you provide. Being advisory means providing advice that you think is right, but there is a difference between being a consultant (one who is paid for advice without execution) and being an advisory seller (one who offers advice and provides both the solution and execution). The distinction is crucial here.
- Would your customer find your knowledge valuable enough to pay for it? Perhaps the most important test is whether your customer is willing to pay for your ideas, your point of view and your advice. This is the ultimate test of whether your ideas and prospects are valid. Because you are in B2B consultative sales, the real test of whether your approach was the right one is whether your contacts buy from you.
Your real success, however, is largely seen in the results that your ideas produce for your customers.
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