This phrase is pounded into the heads of salespeople everywhere. Salespeople should go beyond just pitching and following up. They need to be the expert problem-solvers, knowledgeable guides that buyers need them to be.
Being a trusted advisor is, according to sales experts, what every salesperson should aspire to be in order to flourish in the new sales environment of larger buying groups and more complex sales. It is critical to hitting sales goals.
But what does it mean to be a trusted advisor? And is it something that you can train your newest sales associate to do?
This quote, from sales guru Anthony Iannarino’s recent post “Leading or Following the Client,” suggests otherwise:
“Leading the client is difficult. You have to possess deep business acumen. You need to have the situational knowledge, those experiences that inform your thinking and provide you with the ability to help chart the appropriate course forward. You have to understand the trade-offs that your prospective clients are going to need to make as they take a step into the unknown.”
Yes, you should teach your salespeople to ask powerful, information-yielding questions. Yes, you should encourage to do all the research they can on their prospects. But there is no shortcut, no 30-minute tutorial, for gaining real-world experience.
Is this a call for sales teams to hire older salespeople with more extensive work experience? Not intentionally.
Rather, it’s a wake-up call for salespeople looking to become trusted advisor. That title is the product of so much more than a smooth pitch and asking the right questions, and the bar is so much higher. Perhaps, the best way to start becoming a trusted is to pay attention and listen.
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