An interview with Michael Thomas by Harvey Dunham, Managing Director of Business Development at SAMA
Join us for a Next Practice Symposium on September 15 when Michael Thomas will be speaking more on this topic. Register here.
Becoming a Trusted Advisor
Harvey Dunham: We are asking the smartest customer-facing people in B2B how to become trusted advisors to customers they cannot afford to lose. How do you think SAMs can learn to sell expertise and not products and transform themselves into trusted advisors?
Michael Thomas: There are two ways to look at this. First, there is how SAMs communicate, articulate and exchange their expertise based on their sales and professional experience. Second, you can view a SAM as a broker or bridge to the expertise that lives within their organization. While the first topic is interesting, the second is more germane.
There are exceptions but generally SAMs are used to thinking of themselves as a bridge to products and solutions for their customers. This is historically the role they have played. SAMs however have a much more important role to play. When we talk about expertise, you could label it as knowledge-intensive business services or expertise-based services that don’t show up in a product catalog. These services are not documented like products, technologies or platforms that have solution sets customers can find online and have at their disposal. So, the SAM is critical to connecting the customer with the expertise inside the seller’s organization.
Service teams generally have that expertise but can’t scale as broadly as your SAM community. So, from the customer’s and service team’s perspective the SAM represents the expertise and can make things happen for those customers.Continue reading “The Challenge of Selling Expertise (Not Product)”