Be a Trusted Advisor, NOT a Vendor

[dot_recommends] December 6, 2021 Manufacturing Business Strategy

6 Ways to Be a Trusted Advisor to Small Business and Manufacturing Customers 

be a trusted advisor, not a vendor to foster genurine relationships with loyal customers


Want genuine, loyal customer relationships? Be a trusted advisor, not a vendor.

Customers focus on price, speed of delivery, and other challenging aspects of sales when you’re just another vendor to them. In contrast, they will be slow to move away from a trusted advisor and strategic partner.

So how do we make sure we’re communicating our role as trusted advisor?

No Sales Transactions!

When you’re a trusted advisor, you’re not interested in sales transactions. Of course you want sales. But you only want sales that fit your customers’ needs.

6 Ways to Think and Act Like a Trusted Advisor

  • Understand your customers’ needs and act from that understanding
  • Assist the customer in assessing the urgency of their needs
  • Clearly define the problem you are solving for them in terms of their needs
  • Always put customer needs first (even if it means passing on a sale)
  • Support customers with insights and ideas specific to their needs
  • Show genuine interest in their business and their initiatives


Get Buy-in Across Your Company

You may know the importance of being an advisor–not a vendor–already. But do all members of your team know–from marketing to sales and customer service?

Consider opening a discussion on the topic with team members who interact with prospects and customers.

While you’re having that conversation, ask for more ideas about how your company can be a trusted advisor, not a vendor in your industry.

Reinforce Trusted Advisor Behavior in Your Team Members

Finally, take a look at the incentive structure in your company.

  • Do you reinforce transaction behavior or trusted advisor behavior?
  • Incentivize long term customer relationships over quick closes on sales.

To truly be a trusted advisor, not a vendor, you may need to adjust your company culture and incentives.

Those are my thoughts on this critical topic for highly competitive times. What thoughts do you have? Get in touch with us on LinkedIn or Tweet us. We’re always happy to talk!


Managing Partner

Managing Partner | + posts

With over two decades of experience, Parin leads an expert demand-generation agency, StratMg, that helps industrial manufacturing clients achieve unambiguous and quantified organic sales growth across the US, EMEA & APAC.

Parin has built & positioned StratMg to be a value-added marketing services provider that strives to create a culture of quantified sales-driven marketing initiatives leading to sustained business growth through channel management, diversification, new customer acquisition and retention strategies and tactical execution.

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