Walk (kind of) like an Egyptian

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Customer relations | Customer service | Trusted advisor
In Ancient Egypt, slaves, labourers and peasants remained firmly at the base of the social hierarchy pyramid, while the Pharaoh sat at the top. The vizier, the Pharaoh’s most trusted advisor, took second place. Fast forward to the present, and the trusted advisor has knocked the Pharaoh off his perch. 

By Kirsty McMahon, junior account manager  

If I asked everyone reading this article to raise their hands if they work in sales, I’m betting only people with the word ‘sales’ in their job title would wave at their screens.

I’m afraid the rest of you would be wrong.

We all work in sales. No matter what your role in your company, whenever you communicate with, provide services for or even create collateral for a customer you are selling your business. That’s why you all need to learn to love the trusted advisor pyramid.

Rise above the peasants
The trusted advisor pyramid tracks how a business, like yours, can change the way customers perceive you.

At the base, there are vendors. Business that just deliver a service and don’t really add any extra value. A bit like PayPal. A transaction happens and nothing else. Which is fine if you’re PayPal, but if you work in pretty much any other sector and your business isn’t internationally recognised, you’re going to get lost in the crowd of other vendors.

To step up from the base and progress to credible source, you need to start and offer your customers something a little extra. Perhaps you could produce an excellently researched and entertaining daily blog — a bit like this one — to offer them advice to achieve their objectives.

While you’re doing that, you’re already thinking about the issues your customers might face. So, how do you make sure you’re not making assumptions and getting it wrong? Why not give them a call every now and again for no other reason than to talk about them? Before you know it, you’re a problem solver they are almost sure they can rely on.

But who wants to settle for second best? Take the last leap to trusted advisor by taking time to research things that could help solve a problem even if it has nothing to do with the services you offer. For example, if they have a problem getting sales reps to track expenses while they’re out on the road and you know of an easy solution from your own experience, share the tip.

Once you reach trusted advisor status you become someone that your customer trusts. It builds a relationship that is much closer than vendor and customer and both of your companies grow because both parties are invested in the other’s future.

That’s why we don’t need the Pharaoh lording it over us anymore, he’s become surplus to requirements. Now, cats, they’re an entirely different story and they’re not going to forget that the Egyptians worshipped them as gods any time soon…

If you want some advice on the sort of tactics you can employ to climb the pyramid, why not give me a call on +44 (0)1785 225416 or email kirsty@stonejunction.co.uk. Go on, you know you can trust me.

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