Really? Are you seen as a partner or a vendor?  Do you even know how to tell the difference? 

If clients see you as a partner, they will… 

  • Invite you to high-end meetings 
  • Share confidential information with you 
  • Give you open access to senior executives 
  • Want you as part of their strategic discussions 

If a client sees you as a vendor, they will… 

  • Talk price  
  • Want to “share your information upwards” rather than have you at the meeting 
  • Ask for your information in writing 
  • Limit who you have contact with in the organization 

To move from vendor to partner requires you to truly have your client’s best interest at hand.  That means if something they want, would make you a lot of money but would not let them reach their true goal, you will talk them out of it rather than into it.  It means that if you get an audience with an executive at a higher level, you use that time to give the person who brought you in credit and you always keep them in the loop.  

If your clients don’t see you as a partner,  you need to know how to… 

  • Read what they are thinking but not saying 
  • Ask clarifying questions that get them to share with you 
  • 8 ways to probe or challenge others so you are seen as wise 
  • Build a discussion that is collaborative versus “salesy” 

I just had a client Chris M call up and share that he went from “23 out of 25 sales people up to number 1” using Outcome Thinking®.  Set up your own exploratory call to see if Outcome Thinking® can help you.