I don’t know about you but people don’t like salespeople a lot.

When I go into a shop and the assistant walks up to me, I get nervous.

I’ll tell them instantly, “I’m just looking”.

Why is this?


The opposite of a trusted sales advisor

Because although the internet has changed the art of buying and selling, we’re haunted by the 1890s.

There was the snake oil salesman.

Clark Stanley was The Rattlesnake King. It was 1893.

He claimed he had learned about the healing power of rattlesnake oil from Hopi medicine men.

He would take a live snake and slice it up before a crowd of onlookers at the World’s Exposition in Chicago.

Of course, he was a fraud.

Soon, the snake oil salesmen would claim to have an endless list of cures.

Cures to a wide variety of illnesses: chronic pain, headaches, “female complaints”, kidney trouble, you name it.

It didn’t matter what your problem was, the snake oil salesman had the cure.


Two ways to become a trusted advisor

Today, we have a fair share of the snake oil salespeople.

Each claiming to have the cure for all your business problems. Lack of leads or revenue or employees or even vacation time.

One business owner complained to me, “there is so much noise in the marketplace”.

His agency sells web design services, PPC, and video production services.

He’s afraid he won’t be able to stand out.

What we need more today are trust and generosity.

Our goal is to build trust with prospects. But that is often easier to say than to do.

There two practical ways you can show that you’re a trusted sales advisor.


1) Ask more questions

An advisor listens more good than they talk. And the way the actively listen is be asking great questions.

One to actively listening is to listen to what the customer says, and repeat it back in your own words. This helps you to ensure you understood what they said.

Needless to say, it shows you have been listening. And not plotting your next rehearsed punchline.

The fastest way to close more sales deals is to master the sales conversation. The fastest way to master the sales conversation is by asking lots of quality questions.

In my experience, no customer has ever said to me, “you ask too many questions”.

Think of it this way: when you ask a question, you encourage the prospect to engage. To respond to your question. The person responding is following the lead of the person asking.

If you’re looking for examples of some of the important questions you can ask, I have a few for you here.


2) Lead with challenging insights

Don’t tune out here. I’m not asking you to get into the boxing ring with the prospect.

An advisor challenges with value. They use their experience in the market to bring new challenging insights.

One way you do this is to change your language:

Change tone from: “This is what we can do for you”, to: “Here’s what we’ve seen work with companies like yours…”

This positions you as a credible person who can bring relevant results when it matters.

Of course, it helps if the customer has the same problem they are trying to solve.

Keep doing great work!