As salespeople, we’re always looking for ways to provide value to our clients, always trying to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Well, you may already have something to offer your clients that makes you indispensable, whether or not you realise it.
What is it?
Insider intelligence – that combination of connections, experience and company knowledge that you pick up over time as you work with your clients.
It’s not something you talk about. It’s a hidden advantage that allows you to help your clients succeed in ways that will make them want to keep you around. When you know about something happening in one part of an organisation that could help your client in another part, you have insider intelligence that could save them time, money and headaches, or help them grow their business.
When you share it, you become a valued member of their team, maybe even indispensable.
For example, I worked for a company for several years that worked with a computer manufacturer, and as a result, we got to know their employee development platforms pretty well.
A new manager approached us about developing a new sales training module. Rather than sell him a new module, we steered him toward a very similar program that we’d developed which was already being used by another department in the organisation. It fit his needs with minor tailoring while saving him time and money.
Sure, it cost us a sale in the short-term, but it was a not-to-be-missed opportunity to provide value that differentiates us from the competition. Now you might be thinking, that’s great for big and mid-size companies, but in small companies, people pretty much know what’s going on throughout the organization.
Your insider intelligence in small companies is the unique point of view you bring. We work with a small IT services company that has grown its business through referrals and is looking for ways to expand.
In addition to helping them set up their sales function, we suggested they train their service technicians to ask for referrals. This was low-hanging fruit, but not something they had considered. We thought of it because we had been invited into some executive-level meetings where we met the Service Director and learned about his side of the business.
It was a simple change – an outgrowth of our insider intelligence – that produced a new revenue stream for our client.
Still another way insider intelligence works for you and your clients is when they start perceiving you as “one of them.” They find it’s easier to work with you than someone new because you know their company culture, key employees, processes, history, and current initiatives. Simply put, you get things done without them having to hold your hand.
It’s the relationship you have with your client that provides you with your insider intelligence, take what you have learned about their business and use it to provide a better product or service and they will find you indispensable.