Reprinted from The Don Hutson Report
One of the greatest opportunities you have in business today is mastering the principles of Relationship Differentiation, which will put you on the road to gaining Trusted Advisor status. It can propel you to the top of your prospect’s list of potential vendors in your marketplace.
You simply want to develop a more compelling and collaborative relationship with your prospects than your competitors, and here are fourteen elements to get you there:
1. Establish a list of your Top 100 prospects or clients and focus your time and energy on them.
2. Increase your focus and efforts on the VALUE each of your prospects and clients care about. (It may vary substantially from person to person.)
3. Subscribe to the premise that: “When we care about our clients’ outcomes as much as we do our own, we will be totally trusted.”
4. Gain expertise which demonstrates that you have earned the right to enjoy Trusted Advisor status. Staying educated on the latest and best practices is critical.
5. Display unquestionable integrity in all dealings to assure that your reputation is stellar.
6. Link the needs and priorities of your clients or prospects to yours for win-win outcomes.
7. Learn all you can about your Top 100 Prospects/Clients, so that you can better know how to serve them.
8. Stay in touch at appropriate intervals, communicating with them in their preferred manner.
9. Let them know you are thinking of them by sending them items of interest (articles, blogs, and other information) that they could find helpful.
10.Refer them business when you can. Few things are appreciated more.
11.Introduce them to someone who you think might develop into a treasured contact for them over time.
12.Sponsor them into an organization you belong to that might help them and their business.
13.Do something meaningful for one of their kids.
14.Target a select person you would like to have as a “Confidant” and engage with them on a personal and business basis.
As you read over the elements of the above 14 recommendations, you may want to fine-tune them to make them a better fit with your selling style. The key is to be exceptional by doing things that most people either never think to do or have no inclination to do. Only by walking in the shoes of our prospects and clients can we learn what they value and how we can be most helpful to them. To be able to walk in their shoes, we must be expert information-collectors. We can only achieve that through the skill of asking thoughtful questions and exercising our skill of active listening. When Ken Blanchard and I wrote The One Minute Entrepreneur, we advanced the idea that those most talented in relationship development were the professionals who led with their ears! Do it. It works.
Written by Society of Entrepreneurs member, Don Hutson, a #1 NY Times and Wall Street Journal Best-selling author and a Hall of Fame speaker. He also serves a CEO of U. S. Learning based in Memphis, TN
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