Increasing Professionalism - Trusted Advisor? Part 1

If you are in sales or delivery, you know that the relationship with the client - when you really have a relationship that is - is very much like a patient-doctor relationship (except you don't keep the patient waiting in a white barren room without any clothes for 20 minutes).

When you have a high value relationship, it is the highest form of professional interactions that can take place.  In fact, the relationship involves more trust than the traditional customer-sales representative relationship.

Never Talk Out of School
You are in fact a consultant to the client.  And he (or she) respects and regards your opinion and solutions highly.

In order to be a client, the client decision-maker must have a high degree of confidence that they can place confidential and proprietary information into your hands.

I have been in situations where the consultant (the seller or seller's team) would receive information that was proprietary or confidential and the information would leak out.  I have had consultants work with me and say "Everything we say here is between the two of us" and then a week later the President of the Company call to ask me about the exact situation that I described to the consultant.  Obviously, this only has to happen once before one shuts down and never tell information to the consultant again.

If you want to be valued, to be part of the team, you should be very careful with what you do with ANY information someone tells you. If the information is vital, if it is critical to the company, you have some moral and ethical obligations to consider regarding whether you raise them up the organization's hierarchy or not.  However, you are a "trusted" advisor.  Yes, we have all heard the term, a lot, and who doesn't consider themselves a "trusted" advisor?  But it is not you who gets to decide whether you are a trusted advisor or not. It is decided by the client.

In order to move a one-time customer to a life-long client,  be professional, be discreet, and be, frankly trustworthy by not talking out of school.

Increasing your professionalism is critical to your success whether you are a consultant, contractor, in delivery, in sales, or management. And that goes for whether you are dealing internally with your firm or externally with the client.

Be someone others can count on not to gossip or talk out of school.

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