Supplier or Indispensable?
Are you just another Supplier or are you Indispensable?
It's easy to mistake loyalty with a client who continues to do business with you and never complains. But how do you test that relationship to see exactly what your client thinks, feels and will act towards you going forward?
The closest many companies come to measuring this is with NPS (Net Promoter Score) which measures what the extremely good client experiences are and what the very poor experiences are. This is a good indicator and is considered best practice.
So, what about at an individual level? I'm talking about salesperson to client. What value can be delivered to the client? What impact will this have on their business? How will the value be measured or quantified?
Having a structure for a conversation around the potential to deliver value is important as it checks that the activities you will undertake will be driven by insight, with a clear view of the value to be delivered to the client.
Without insight, activities stem from the mind of the salesperson; from their own perspective and thinking rather than from the perspective of what really matters to the client and their organisation.
Here is a 6-step process you can use to ensure your thinking about a potential action or initiative for a client is based on insight rather than instinct:
Step 1 Clarify your client's problems or opportunities
Two things will drive the need for action: problems that are having a negative impact on the client's business or opportunities to improve or grow their business.
-List each problem or opportunity
-For each problem, outline the impact it is having or could have on the client's business
-For each opportunity, outline the impact the opportunity could bring to the client's business
Step 2 Clarify the purpose of taking action to address these issues
If you take action to address these issues:
-What position do you want to be in after action?
-What position do you want the client to be in after the action?
Step 3 Identify the causes of the client's problems or the drivers of the opportunities
-What are the causes of the client's problems? OR
-What is driving the potential for the client's opportunities?
Step 4 Explore all options and alternatives
Brainstorm potential solutions that will enable your client to fix their problems or realise their opportunities.
-Don't hold back, every idea should be captured, you will sanity check the ideas in the next stage
-If you try to ratify ideas in the brainstorming stage you may stifle the process and miss an opportunity for the client
Step 5 Identify the preferred solution
What is your preferred solution?
Evaluate each of the solution options from the client's perspective and from your own business perspective
-What are the upsides?
-What are the downsides?
-What are the risks?
-Will the preferred solution achieve your purpose (as outlined in Step 2)?
Step 6 Set the actions and supporting activities
State the agreed Action in specific, measurable, realistic, relevant and timely terms
-Outline the supporting activities to deliver the Initiative along with deadlines plus potential value for you and for the client
Now, get out there sales champions! Drive value for your clients through better insight.
Tips from John Buchanan, Beyond 19, Coaching Practicing Lead:
1. Having a rock solid Game Plan is critical for success. Use these 6 steps to formulate your Game Plan for each of your key client's.
2. The best coaching comes from a strong relationship between coach and athlete. This should be no different for the salesperson and the client.