What’s your customer’s strategy?
Speaking at an event for the Association for Professional Sales in London last week, I posed the question – ‘What’s your customer’s strategy?’.
The talk, Selling to Senior Executives, was about how more effectively to stand out from your competitors and establish yourself as a trusted advisor. To do that, you have really to understand your customer’s direction of travel and the overarching themes of their commercial strategy.
When I put the question to them, it was surprising how many salespeople didn’t actually know the answer – even for their most important and largest revenue earning accounts. In my opinion, that leaves them vulnerable.
If you are to be relevant in the eyes of your customer and bake yourself in for the long-term, you must be absolutely on-point when it comes to helping them achieve their goals.
Expansion? Cost-Cutting? Consolidation? Merger and Acquisitions? Rationalisation? Top-line sales growth or bottom line? What’s it to be?
Until you know those things, it’s tough to nurture a trusted advisor status and insulate yourself from predatory competitor attack.
My advice: get these three questions on the table in your next sales call:
1 What is the strategic direction of the business for the next 3 years?
2 What internal themes and objectives are being talked about for delivery of the strategy?
3 What 3 things can we do to assist in the delivery of your strategy?
When you have those answers, begin to craft your account development strategy so that it aligns with the desired customer outcomes. When doing your reviews, demonstrate the progress you have both made and the value you bring.
See you out there.
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director,