How Well Do You Know Your Customer's Business?
Your job is to solve your customers’ problems. Period. That’s all. You need to become a part of their organizations. This is vital if you want to earn the right to charge a little more and be compensated for your expertise.
Think of your job as earning a job at your target prospects' companies. This means doing a lot of research. You need to learn not just what they buy, but why they buy. What problems are they trying to solve? What is going on in their industry, in their market? You come to this knowledge through observation. You look at their situations. You understand their problems by listening. You ask knowledge-based questions and then listen for their answers. You listen more and talk less.
In the olden days (a couple of years ago), sales trainers used to love to preach “ABC”—Always be closing. I contend that the opposite is true. Closing too fast is a quick way out the door. You need to research, listen and then provide feedback on your observations. You need to earn trust by focusing on solving problems.
When you provide well thought-out solutions to your customers’ problems, you get the job. You develop a trust-based relationship. You earn loyalty and a higher price.