Be an expert for your customer

There’s an old funny accurate cartoon that shows a king sending away a salesman because the king is facing an invading army. His focus needs to be on defeating his enemy, not on spending time talk to a “crazy salesman”, as he puts it.

The king’s purpose at that moment is to beat this enemy army. This army is coming at him fast and furious loaded with bows, arrows, spears and swords. It’s a serious situation.

But the salesman is selling missile launchers and automatic weapons.

If he sees his job as simply responding to what the customer wants, the salesman might pack up his weapons and leave. The king is obviously not interested.

In this age of information overload, its easy to assume our customers know all they need to about the products or services they are buying. So our job becomes more order-taking or facilitating product delivery. We help them get the best fit based on what they tell us they want.

But this is not how we can best serve our customers. Because, as the king demonstrates, customers don’t always know enough to make the best decision.

A huge part of our job is to share our expertise with our customers. And it’s not always easy. But we need to find ways to help our customers understand all the important aspects of their decision. We need to be experts on our product and service. But we also need to apply that expertise to their situation in a way that they will want to hear.

We need to become their expert.

Think of yourself as an author or speaker. You are the Subject Matter Expert. Thousands of people hear what you have to say and they give you instant credibility. They listen and pay attention. Because they acknowledge you as an expert.

Develop this kind of credibility with your customer and you can help them more than anyone else.

If you want to deliver Amazing service to your customers (and keep them coming back) then become their trust advisor. Be their expert.

How do your customers see you now? Are you seen as their expert, trusted advisor? If not, what steps can you take to move in that direction?

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz