Have you ever been called a vendor by your clients, and you felt a bit taken aback as you feel you are worthy of a much better title? This is an issue that plagues most salespeople or account executives who utilize a consultative approach to gaining business.
The term “vendor” has a negative connotation for those who feel they go above and beyond to provide the best product and/or service for clients. It’s sort of like a double-edged sword. A salesperson promotes a product or service that customers need to grow their business, but also have a financial interest in making sure they purchase from them and not the competitor. It’s difficult to bridge the gap between selling something and being a consultant that provides much more than product knowledge.
That said, salespeople, who truly put the customer first and provide a solid ROI from their products or services, typically think of themselves as “partners.” If a business wants to be hugely successful, then they should seek out this type of salesperson and utilize their knowledge to gain even more insight into a specific industry.
Of course, it’s naive to think of yourself as a “partner” if you can only give your clients information about your products and services. A real “partner” provides clients with a wealth of knowledge about the industry, the competition, social and economic demographics, as well as display exceptional customer service before, during, and after a sell.
A “partner” will not only provide clients with information, but they also develop an equal business stature with their customers. This type of relationship could take months or even years to build as it is a trusted working relationship that has many layers.
If you desire to be more than just a “vendor” to your customers, then you must spend time doing research. You need product as well as industry knowledge to create that equal business stature.
To build a lasting and impressive relationship, make sure you are attending industry functions locally as well as nationally, learn about their competition, gain knowledge about what makes them different than their competitors, and communicate effectively the information that you have gathered with your clients.
Following the above plus knowing everything there is to know about your product or service will assist in making you a vital part of their success, and you will no longer be considered a “vendor.”
If you are interested in learning more about begin a “Partner” with TVI-MarketPro3 then simply connect with us here.