The world of sales is a complicated one right now. There are new regulations, tax implications, guidelines that have to be followed, and service expectations that need to be met. While information is readily available, certain clients still do not know how to protect their interests and negotiate a successful closing of a sale. Now more than ever, clients need sales professionals that are great advocates for them, take on their vision, and help them achieve their goals. How does one become a great advocate? How do you create the mindset needed to represent your clients in a way where they feel you were as invested in the process as they were? It takes a lot of hard work, self-sacrifice, and training. Consider these five steps to becoming a great advocate for your client:
- Know their wants, needs, and expectations. The first rule of sales is to ask questions and find out what your client is trying to achieve. When you know this the battle is already half won. Take good notes, review them frequently, and follow up regularly to make sure things have not changed.
- Understand how the process affects them. Going through any sales or service process can be very stressful. It affects not just your clients but their entire family and possibly company. Again, ask them questions about how the sale impacts the ones they love, what are their concerns, what are they stressed about, what does failure look like to them?
- Know their vision and make it yours. As sales professionals it is easy to have your thoughts consumed by dollar signs and forget the needs of your client. It is not uncommon for our focus to shift from achieving our client’s goals to how much am I going to get paid when this deal is done. Clients are looking for a professional that is loyal to them and becomes a co-owner in their vision for success.
- Receive their permission to passionately advocate for them. I used to always ask for permission to be aggressive in negotiations for my client. I would start the conversation by restating their goals, dreams, and expectations. I then laid out how I was going to structure negotiations in way that led to the highest probability of success for them. I did all of this because I wanted them to feel like they were in control and that they had hired a passionate professional to represent them.
- Take into account their reputation. Never forget that your client has a reputation that is impacted by your actions, your words, and the way you advocate for them. Always be a professional and treat people with respect. Failure to do this will not only burn bridges for you but can lead to future failure for the client you are serving. When the deal is done, will the people you worked with and negotiated against say you and your clients conducted yourselves professionally and with integrity?
Sales professional are blessed with the opportunity to help people achieve their goals and dreams. If you are one of them, I encourage you to get to know your clients and understand their vision so you can become a great advocate for them.
Make it a great day!