Scenario: You’re working diligently to close a sale.
However, your customer has enlisted the support of one or more individuals – individuals designated with the responsibility to advise the customer and ensure they’re making a wise decision. These people are aptly named:
The Trusted Advisor(s)
It’s common for sales professionals to overlook the importance of the trusted advisor or to be unsure of how to interact with them effectively.
In any sale involving a trusted advisor, here’s what you need to know:
- The customer and the trusted advisor have previously discussed the purchase.
- The customer sees value in the trusted advisor’s opinions.
- The trusted advisor’s approval is often vital to finalize the sale.
It’s essential to recognize that the presence of a trusted advisor is always an advantage.
Why is that?
Consider the following: Your customer wouldn’t involve a trusted advisor unless they had done significant research and felt that this purchase was of genuine importance. The presence of the trusted advisor indicates a deeper level of commitment to the buying decision.
Step One: Adopt a Consultative Approach
The trusted advisor is present to ensure transparency and honesty in the process.
- Slow down and build rapport.
- Discover the relationship between the customer and the trusted advisor.
- Aim to make the transaction smooth and professional for everyone involved.
Step Two: Engage in a Constructive Discussion
Instead of discussing matters on the go, create a conducive environment for a detailed conversation.
- A quiet space ensures everyone feels heard.
- Express gratitude for the inclusion of the trusted advisor.
For instance: “I’m glad you’ve included [trusted advisor’s name] in this decision-making process. Having valuable input can make a world of difference. What are our primary objectives today?”
Step Three: Engage Everyone
When asking questions:
- Direct them to the customer but also acknowledge the trusted advisor.
- Respect and document every contribution.
- Encourage an open dialogue.
For instance: “Is this product primarily for daily use or specific occasions?”
Step Four: Provide Expertise with Grace
If a trusted advisor shares outdated or inaccurate information:
- Gently correct with up-to-date knowledge.
- Position yourself as an informative guide.
Example: “I understand where you’re coming from. However, recent advancements have significantly improved that aspect.”
Step Five: Facilitate the Decision-making Process
Once everyone is on the same page, be ready for the next phase. Sometimes, customers may say, “This is a big decision; I’ll need some time to consider.”
This doesn’t always mean they need days or weeks. Sometimes, they just need a moment, especially with their trusted advisor present.
Offer them space: “I understand the gravity of this decision. Would a few minutes for discussion be helpful?”
If you’ve established trust and rapport, there might come a point where the trusted advisor signals their approval with phrases like, “It’s your choice” or “Do what you think is best.”
Seize this moment. Respectfully confirm with the customer: “It seems we’ve found the right fit. Shall we proceed?”
Rather than seeing the trusted advisor as a hurdle, view them as a collaborator in the sales process. Their presence signifies the significance of the purchase. Engage with tact, respect, and expertise, and there’s every chance you can close the sale during that very interaction.