How can you transition yourself in your customer’s mind from being just a vendor to being a trusted adviser?

It matters because a vendor won’t get repeat business but a trusted adviser might be the first person the buyer approaches to ask their advice – which obviously means the trusted adviser is in a much stronger position to do business.

So what is the difference anyway?

Well, you know when you come across a hot dog van, or an ice cream van and you just make an impulse purchase?

Whilst the food may well be excellent, there is often no customer loyalty – you were there, they were there, you felt hungry and they were more convenient than the other options. These are vendors.

And in fact, they are often called hot dog ‘vendors’ or ice cream ‘vendors’.

So think about it – are your customers treating you like a vendor?

You might get repeat orders, but unless you can do something to really build that relationship, you will always just be a transactional ‘vendor’ to them.

Whereas, if you work at building trust, meeting and exceeding customer expectations, providing useful information and industry advice and becoming their ‘go to’ person because of your reputation, then you have migrated to a much stronger relationship.

You are now a Trusted Adviser.

The great thing about being a trusted adviser is that customers will:

🟪 be more likely to call you
🟪 recognise you as a professional
🟪 ask you to meet up, rather than you chasing them

It takes work and time, but seriously which would you rather be?

Surely it’s got to be Trusted Adviser every time?

So how can you get to this stage?

The best thing to do is work at it.

  1. Provide them useful insights about their industry
  2. Keep in touch regularly via social media, messaging or the phone, not to sell anything but just to check in on them – this builds relationships
  3. If you see something you think might interest them (a book, an article, whatever) send it to them and simply say ‘I saw this and thought of you’
  4. Comment and react to their social media posts

There are many more of course, but these are a great starting point. What else works for you?

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