Six Dimensions of a Trusted Advisor Relationship
Imagine a rock band playing but barely interacting with the audience. That's akin to businesses treating customers as mere names on a spreadsheet, as contacts in a CRM. Yet, when you face your fans, fine-tune their experience along six specific dimensions, you hit the melody of a Trusted Advisor relationship.
In our research into B2B sales we’ve identified 6 Dimensions of Trusted Advisor relationships, six perceptions you must plant in your audiences’ brains if you expect to build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. We call this the “Relationship Climate” between a buyer and a seller.
Initially, your fans are simply listening for these basic riffs, the basic “Satisfiers”:
Integrity – That consistent drumbeat the fans can tap their foot to. Can they rely on your groove, trusting you'll always keep the beat alive?
Competency – This is about mastering your craft, honing your skills, experience, and expertise. You’ve sold them tickets and promised them a show, can you actually deliver a great performance?
Our past posts have explored these first two Dimensions of Trusted Advisor relationships: Integrity and Competency. Yet, the real magic, the iconic anthem, emerges from the following four dimensions, the “Motivators" - the intoxicating, magnetic forces that bond a buyer and a seller:
Recognition – Does your audience feel like they're all in the front row, or are some feeling lost in the crowd? Does each feel you appreciate them showing up? Show them that their name sparkles just a tad brighter on your stage.
Proactivity – Anticipate! Sing the unsung melodies of your customer’s heart before they even hum the tune. Can you sense the next big hit, anticipating fan favorites before they even chant for an encore?
Savvy – Do you understand the concert of their lives, their dreams, and their passions? It's about walking in their shoes and playing tunes that reflect their needs, hopes and desires. In short, does your setlist demonstrate you get them?
Chemistry – It’s the secret sauce, the spark. Do they eagerly await your next show? When jamming, is there an unspoken sync between your band and their organization?
Together, these six dimensions form the "Relationship Climate". A climate, not of weather patterns, but of emotions, expectations, and elation. A climate of buyer perceptions that turn fleeting, transactional melodies into iconic anthems that fans hum long after the show.
And, oh boy, this climate has a pulse, a beat. You can measure it, dance to it, and even influence its tempo! Relationship Climate is the score that should fuel all your tracks.
Compared to simple client satisfaction or single-question NPS feedback, one hit songs that few remember, Relationship Climate captures the spirit of the entire experience. Rather than simply counting fans/non-fans, Relationship Climate deeply understands the story behind each fan’s experience.
So, grab that guitar, hit the stage, and let Integrity and Competency, Recognition, Proactivity, Savvy, and Chemistry drive your legacy and motivate your fans. Take the lead, become that Trusted Advisor, and let customer loyalty be your greatest hit!
But how do you apply these four motivators to build a better connection with your connectors?
Amplifying Your Client Rhythms: Best Practices & Tips for Customer Loyalty
Rocking the customer experience means not just understanding the bigger melodies but also hitting the perfect riff during your solo. The following best practices will ensure you always strike the right chord with your clients:
Personalized Interactions: Always address your clients by their names and remember personal details. The smallest touch of personalization can make clients feel seen and valued.
Celebrate Milestones: Recognize and celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, or major accomplishments. Sending a simple congratulatory message or a token of appreciation can resonate deeply.
Feedback Forums: Regularly solicit feedback and measure their Relationship Climate. Showing that you genuinely care about their opinions (and acting on those opinions) fosters a deeper sense of recognition.
Actively Manage their Experience and Anticipate Needs: Based on past interactions and data, anticipate what a client might need next. Ensure they don’t encounter any negative surprise; being one step ahead can impress and assure clients that you're in tune with their needs.
Regular Check-ins: Don’t wait for an issue to arise. Regularly check in, even if it’s just to say hello or share an industry update that might benefit them.
Educate and Inform: Provide them with insights, trends, and updates related to their industry. This shows you’re not just thinking about the present, but also their future.
Deep Dive into Their World: Understand not just your client's business and operations, but also the industry they operate in, suppliers they work with, customers they sell to, and competitors they face. The more you know, the better you can serve and anticipate their needs.
Stay Updated: Regularly upskill yourself. The more you know about the latest trends and tools, the better you can advise your clients.
Tailored Solutions: Don't offer one-size-fits-all solutions. Customize your offerings based on each client's unique needs and challenges.
Open and Clear Communication: Ensure that lines of communication are always open. Being available and responsive builds trust and rapport.
Team Building: Organize occasional meetups or virtual hangouts, not just to discuss work but to bond. Building personal connections can foster better professional chemistry.
Mutual Respect: Always show respect for their time, opinions, and feedback, as well as that of their teams. When clients feel respected, they're more likely to resonate with you and your brand.
These tips aren't just tactics; think of them as the steady drumbeats that make your song memorable. It's these details, when played right, that transform a regular tune into a chart-topping hit. So, strum those strings and let the music of customer loyalty play on!
Increase customer loyalty by understanding your clients' experience
Checkout out Encompass-CX, the best customer experience management application for B2B! Request a demo here.