by Tim Roberts
The traditional salesperson can be all over the place. He can be found blind quoting, margin avoiding, candy spilling, appointment begging and glad handing all in a single afternoon. He can be a refreshing whirlwind through the office on a good day and a thick, dark cloud on others. He is capable of taking your business plan to the Promised Land or holding it hostage in head-trashville.
The trusted advisor on the other hand takes the role of salesperson to an advanced level. The trusted advisor, especially one who is a professional service provider with an intangible offering, possesses all the baseline skills of a salesperson: goal orientation, curiosity, ego drive, credibility and reliability. Yet, he also knows the power of low self-orientation. He is able to get rid of his own ego state and be fully attuned to the client. The trusted advisor can read the situation accurately.
Perhaps the most telling characteristic of a trusted advisor, however, is a powerful phrase I heard describe a judge at her investiture: "equal poise and constancy." A trusted advisor’s distinction is clarity and his primary offering is original, sound advice that goes well beyond subject matter. Equal poise and constancy means that a trusted advisor possesses both equilibrium in dealing with tough situations (poise) and an unwavering commitment to the process (constancy). It’s a skill that brings meaning to the word relationship.
Equal poise and constancy reflects talent earned through consistent honing of that skill and application of knowledge in a way that makes insight less threatening to clients. Mountains remain the molehills they began as. Troubled minds are held at bay. Need-to-do’s get done and nice-to-do’s are advanced. Creativity and abundance own the stage.
You can feel poise and constancy when it walks into a room. The traditional salesperson moves quickly to honor the allotted 15-minute lobby visit, pressuring hard with outdated moves and never-earned trust. However, poise and constancy set the tone, agenda and outcome for the trusted advisor. The right to offer a service, solution or advice is earned, nurtured by an appropriate amount of time and curiosity.
Traditional salespeople mean well, they really do. A zigzagging business climate and pressure from ownership, partners or unskilled sales managers tethers them to mediocrity. An advanced salesperson, the trusted advisor, eschews mediocrity. A highly trained and well-disciplined approach keeps the trusted advisor cool under fire--and welcomed wherever he goes.
If you’d like to find out more about being a trusted advisor, contact Tim Roberts at Sandler Training, Trustpointe, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-845-0041