“How do I get clients to see me as more than just a provider?”
A strategic advisor is viewed by clients as a true business partner. It is rare for clients to view you as a strategic advisor, but when that happens, you will probably have a client for life.
Issues such as rates, new services, and pressure from your competitors will cease to exist when you are viewed as a strategic advisor. When your clients view you as an advisor, they ask you for advice. Often, they will share their future plans with you and seek your input. Clients who view you as a strategic advisor will be the strongest referral sources you could possibly hope for because they see you as an integral part of their business. These clients will be invested in your success, and they will usually do whatever it takes to help you grow your practice.
It is much more difficult to develop the strategic advisor relationship than the consultant relationship. As the name strategic advisor suggests, trust is a major factor when trying to develop a strategic advisor relationship. Your client needs to know with certainty that you have their best interests in mind, and they must value your advice accordingly.
Typically a strategic advisor has more meaningful relationships with clients than vendors or consultants. The strategic advisor will ask big picture questions such as, “Where do you see your business in five years?” and “What are your greatest obstacles to success?” — and the client will feel comfortable sharing major fears and concerns. By the same token, when your clients see you as a strategic advisor, they will ask you big picture questions and ask for your expertise in areas of importance to them.
It is up to the strategic advisor to develop relationships that will be truly beneficial to clients in all areas of their business.
In enterprise selling, the buyer network is wider, more diverse, and much more complex than in simpler, more traditional sales interactions.
Knowledge is power. Know what you're up against with enterprise sales.