Business Partner of the Month

Grand Canyon Business Solutions

 

BIRTH OF AN ADVOCATE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Phillip Hart- VP of Sales, GRAND CANYON BUSINESS SOLUTIONS

Liar, shyster, sleazy are strong, negative words, sometimes used to describe both salespeople and attorneys. The attorneys I know hold themselves to a high ethical standard and to add to this, the legal profession is one of the few that can land you in prison for lying. Most of the salespeople I have worked with cherish their clients and often make sacrifices to satisfy them.

So, why is it that these negative pictures seem to be the common view when speaking of these two professions? Well, it is true that a bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. There are certainly some “bad apples” in sales as well as the legal world. Why should this define us? Our advantage of knowledge of a product, or a process or of the law could be used in a self-rewarding way. This may make others uncomfortable and certainly vulnerable. Attorneys have an oath (held to a standard of ethics) that they follow. We haven’t such a creed in sales. Nothing to direct us or lead us down a path of integrity or honesty, let alone, our clients’ best interests. If we view the “sales” role as one who advocates for clients, the path becomes clear and both the selling organization and client will find themselves growing organically rather than the salesperson being parasitic to the client. 

Many years ago, when I first met my mentor, he asked me, “why aren’t you in sales?” My answer: “because I will not take advantage of people and I am not a shark.” Obviously, my perception of a salesperson was less than favorable. I envisioned Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman; dishonest, misleading, always searching for the quick and easy buck. During my two-year internship with an international leadership and consulting firm, I’ve learned that a true salesperson is not like a shark, but more like a Remora fish working in a symbiotic, long-term relationship with its partner. I’ve learned that a TRUE salesperson is a servant to his/her clients; an advocate.

An Advocate is a person who argues for, works for, or supports a cause, policy, a group or another person, according to Merriam-Webster. In the Lawyer’s Creed of Professionalism of the State Bar of Arizona there are statements that are in line with the idea of an advocate. “Loyal and committed to my client’s cause…”, “……achieve my client’s lawful objectives…”. Clients turn to their counsel for direction due to their own inexperience, lack of knowledge or expertise. Today’s Salesperson or Advocate should offer the same experience to their clients. Take my industry for example. Most business leaders and organizers know how to run a business or organization. However, most must rely on the expertise and knowledge of others to implement and manage their technological needs and more importantly, they must trust the process. When needing legal advice, these business leaders rely on a self-created vetting process and referrals to choose counsel. In the same vein, choosing an advocate to analyze your business processes and technical needs requires trust. Trust isn’t exclusive to the quality and price of a product or service but applies to the advocate and the advocate’s company as well.

Our clients’ processes are nearly always in good working order, at least in their eyes. The processes in place are accomplishing their corporate goals. But are they efficient or can profits be increased? For us to best serve them, clients must trust the advocate well enough to expose current business processes, disclose contract terms and conditions and often, must share employee incomes and their financials. These can be sensitive subjects. However, inefficiencies here can also be crucial to adjust to return high dollar savings back to the client.

Today’s salesperson should not be “selling”. After you sell a product or a service, that’s it. You are done. The Client Advocate should be creating a client journey and the destination should never end. It should be symbiotic and it should ALWAYS be about the client’s best interest. This sounds scary to the traditional Willy Loman types. But they are dying and every day advocates are being born.

Part of on boarding a new client is bidirectional evaluation and vetting. Not every organization is the “best fit” for the client. Every client is not the “best fit” for an advocate. Again, terrifying thought for a traditional salesperson. They want to sell everything to everyone! After choosing a “best fit” partner, a business process analysis should be performed. We offer this service at no charge. We prefer to earn a long-term relationship rather than to make one sale.

GRAND CANYON BUSINESS SOLUTIONS would be honored to explore a partnership with you. With our years of knowledge and experience, we are ready to work hard for you and serve you. Let us be your best advocate and get you on board for an incredibly valuable journey. REACH US TODAY!

GRAND CANYON BUSINESS SOLUTIONS

Please contact:

Mark Houser
Grand Canyon Business Solutions
9015 East Pima Center Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Tel: 480-278-8381
mhouser@gcbscorp.com