Updated: Mar 17
What happens when you achieve Trusted Advisor status with your buyer? Perhaps the most important result is that you move up in the Buyer’s Value Chain. Consider what your buyer goes through to solve a problem or seize an opportunity:
First, they have to identify that there is an opportunity or a problem.
Then they must decide how big a deal it is; what it is worth trying to seize the opportunity or solve the problem.
They determine if they need help and search for who might be able to help them.
They consider their options.
They scope the effort and may put together a request for proposal (RFP).
They invite bidders, evaluate proposals, select, and negotiate with a provider.
They implement a solution
Finally, they measure the success of all their effort.
Advantages of Being a Trusted Advisor
If the buyer perceives you as just another salesperson or a transactional vendor, you will likely get invited in towards the later steps in that Buyer’s Value Chain. The customer has already identified the problem, determined a solution, and outlined a path— all they need from you is a price. That is the transactional vendor zone. But, if you have already established some level of sales equity with the buyer, they will likely call you at the beginning of their problem identification process and ask you to help sort it out. You get an opportunity to shape the outcome, to design the program, and then more likely than not no request for proposal will be required— you are the obvious candidate to carry the project through to its successful conclusion.
That is the advantage of being the recipient of the client’s first call. And even if a client is required to send out RFPs, they will give you the last look and share information to help you win because you are their trusted advisor. According to The Brookeside Group’s research, you are nine times more likely to get the first call and the last look on a new sale if you are perceived as the customer’s trusted advisor; your customer wants to do business with you and could be willing to pay more in order to do so.
Ultimately, when you become a trusted advisor, your customer starts outsourcing their problems to you and are willing to pay you to deal with them! They are not simply asking for a quote on some activities— they depend on you. They give you the benefit of the doubt when mistakes are made, give you referrals, and buy more from you.
Where are you with your most important buyer relationships? Let us know in the comments below! Follow us at “Encompass CX” on Linkedin for more blog posts and other information. See you next week for our next post!
Co-written by Alexis Audeh