As a Solution Consultant at Big Bang ERP, a significant aspect of my position is to meet potential clients, understanding their daily operations and presenting ERP solution demos. This opportunity allows me the privilege of talking to them and learning more about their successful and exciting businesses. Although these individuals come from a range of different industries and backgrounds, most of them have one thing in common; they are all looking for a solution that will give them a competitive advantage by either increasing process efficiency across their department, improving their visibility in regards to their target market, accelerating their growth, or ensuring them scalable and cost-saving options.
The process of selecting a new ERP solution, or system, for your company is not an easy task. It needs a significant amount of effort from all parties involved in order for the change to be a success. However, what is more important than effort, is trust. Building a trusting relationship is much easier said than done, therefore, if you wish to foster and build a prosperous relationship with your client, it is critical that you achieve a high level of trust with the stakeholders and decision-makers.
I think you get the point now, trust is important, and when you have mutual trust, that’s when the real work can begin. It is likely not a surprise to you, but perception is key. As we all know, first impressions are extremely important. You also need to keep in mind your body language, eye contact, facial expressions, and showing empathy – I am sure you have heard those usual suggestions about 100 times before.
Nevertheless, this is not a standard blog about presentations. Gaining trust is all about the way you present yourself and the way you communicate. From my professional experience as a Solutions consultant, I have observed that people tend to earn trust through credibility and you need to start earning that trust from the first interaction with a new prospect. I have seen an unfortunate number of individuals lose potential fruitful relationships due to a lack of client trust, which is why I want to talk to you about how you can build a concrete trusting connection that will build a strong foundation for, what will hopefully be, a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
#1, Be Knowledgeable
One way to build credibility is through the variety and breadth of your knowledge. We live in a world where information is highly accessible and certifications are abundant, but that won’t cut it anymore. You might deal with a number of people with varying experiences within the industry, hence you need to be able to adapt your presentation to suit your audience. What you must do to earn credibility is focus on asking the right questions. In order to ask the right questions, you need to be well prepared. Before your first meeting, you need to do research to understand why the customer is reaching out, and more specifically, what is the need they are looking to get fulfilled. In other words, you need to understand the company and their customers’ needs so that you are able to ask questions that show a solid understanding of their current standing in the market. Think of yourself as a doctor – you need to ask the right questions to better comprehend your patients’ symptoms in order to provide a correct diagnosis and course of action.
#2, Have a Real Want to Provide Value
As do all of my colleagues at Big Bang ERP, I always put my customers first and I truly care about finding them the best possible solution. When you communicate, whether it is in person or by zoom video conference, the other party can always tell if you are genuine or not. The quality of your work will be greatly affected by the motivation you have towards it. Find a common interest that will motivate you and allow you to bring forth your best work. Once you have an authentic interest in your client’s business and you have built a sincere relationship, you will become more driven to produce tangible results and solutions.
#3, Honesty goes a long way.
If you want to build lasting relationships, you need transparency and honesty. As a trusted advisor you need to be clear and concise with what we say. Do not use ambiguous words, do not avoid the truth, and present the correct information to all stakeholders in order for them to make a well-informed decision every time. Clients are more likely to stay with the advisor that honestly recommends the correct solutions, than the advisor that only focuses on selling them a more expensive option.
In today’s globalized and highly competitive market, customers are not looking for a product, nor are they looking for a quick fix. They are looking for a trusted advisor that cares about their businesses the same way they do, an expert who can understand their needs and assist them with a solution that will keep them at an advantage. That is exactly what we aim to do here at Big Bang ERP while we work hand in hand with our clients to get them to the next level, whether it is the push they need to internationalize, increase their customer base or offer additional services to their targeted clients.
By being knowledgeable, motivated, and honest, you will have the credibility needed to build a long and trusting business relationship with all the stakeholders that you encounter. Try and focus on these points next time you meet someone and let us know how it goes!