This week I was in a meeting with the CEO of a company and his purchasing manager. When responding to a query, the CEO stated, “I am not sure I understand.” The purchasing manager replied, “I understand and that’s why you have me.”
This is not a recommended method of becoming a trusted advisor. The CEO and I later had a good laugh, and I realized how much coaching and training was needed by his mid-level management team. This is not uncommon in companies with which we’re working today. Most executives and mid-level leaders exist in silos, yet they’re on project teams that cross over to other silos in the organization, and everyone has their own needs and wants to be recognized and addressed. The solution is to elevate the conversation, think of the best strategy to help your customers win, and be about the greater good.
Here are four internal strategies to become a trusted advisor:
- Always be thinking about what other departments are buying rather than what your department is selling.
- Through focused questioning, understand what they are buying and why it is important to them and their mission.
- Present custom solutions with facts, benefits, and applications to their wins — supported with overwhelming evidence.
- Be prepared to overcome their hesitations by demonstrating your commitment, usefulness, and helpfulness for them to achieve their goals and desired
Human relations principle: “Become genuinely interested in others.” ~ Dale Carnegie