The number one goal in business today is to set yourself apart in the eyes of your marketplace as their most trusted advisor. You must position yourself as the preeminent authority and expert of the niche that you dominate and own.
Your clients want to be led by you. Never allow somebody to buy less than they should, less quantity than they should, less quality than they should, with less commitment than they should or in less combination because they will be the loser, they will not be served by doing it. You must see them as your “client” not your “customer”.
What is the difference between a customer and a client? Webster’s dictionary states that a customer is “someone who buys a product or service from another”. A client on the other hand is “someone who is placed under the protection of another”. These are only words, but they make a huge difference. Imagine if your top twenty customers not only viewed you as their “trusted advisor”, but that they also felt safe under your “total protection”. Your business would never fail.
I recommend the following business and personality traits to become the preeminent trusted advisor in your marketplace:
- Be the trusted advisor for life. This is the personality trait of the expert who wants to help you for a lifetime.
- Be honest. The trusted advisor tells them what they’re not being told. “Here’s the truth as I see it and what action I think you should take because of that.”
- Don’t be afraid to show your flaws. Display flaws to prove that you’re human too. When you’re more human, people find it easier to relate to you.
- Build relationships for life. Treat the relationship you’re building as a long-term investment you’re making in the marketplace.
- Be confident. Celebrate your skills, distinctions and uniqueness. Create your proprietary phraseology. Take certain words and make them your own.
- Offer risk reversal. Eliminate their risk by pointing out the overlooked risks and dangers.
- Always challenge status quo thinking. Always be looking for a better way. Establish your distinctive perspective. See yourself as an agent of change.
- You are a brand. Revere your own brand equity and continually add to it and use it as a vehicle to reassure clients and prospects.
- You become who you hang around with. Associate yourself with people who have incredible trust and respect. Business in the future will primarily be based on partnerships, joint ventures and strategic alliances. Leverage the right mentors and advisors.
- Hire the best. But pay them strictly on performance and results.
Most people fall in love with their product instead of their prospect. Never let this happen to you!
John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.
Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.
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