• Tal Nagar

The Best Way to Quickly Become A Trusted Advisor

Becoming your customers' Trusted Advisor takes time and effort. You have to show them that you're genuinely invested in their success by doing your homework BEFORE the call.


 

Alexander Graham Bell's Quote

Your day has just started and before doing anything else, you check your schedule.


You've got 5 back-to-back meetings with customers. The first one is in 30 minutes.


You stare blankly at your screen, hoping that the schedule will magically change.


But after 5 minutes, you give up and start preparing for those meetings. Feeling the anxiety taking over your mind, you realize that you've made a mistake by not preparing in advance.


Success requires preparation.


As a CSM, phone calls and Zoom meetings with customers are a part of your daily routine and the way you prepare for those calls can determine how successful they're going to be.


Lack of preparation, or insufficient preparation, will cost you greatly:

  1. You're more likely to be caught off guard by the customer.

  2. It will be harder for you to achieve your goals (if you have them defined).


Preparation, on the other hand, makes it easier for you to:

  1. Form strong relationships with customers

  2. Set expectations for the call and define the goals

  3. Identify ways to add more value


These three easy steps can boost your success rates:


#1 - Define Your Goals.


A meeting without goals is a waste of time.


Best-case scenario: the customer leads the conversation according to their goals.


Worst-case scenario: the customer doesn't have specific goals in mind. Both of you just stare at the screen hoping that the other person will take the lead.


You can quickly identify the goals of each call by answering the questions below:

  • What is the reason for the call?

  • What do you need to solve/accomplish by the end of the call?

  • What does your customer need to solve/accomplish by the end of the call?


Well-defined goals guide you through the meeting - from setting the right agenda to following up via email at the end of the day.


Every time you meet a goal, you're one step closer to becoming the customer's Trusted Advisor.


#2 - Start with What You Know


With well-defined goals, start collecting all the pieces about the customer, their organization, and the call.

Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before the call:


Organization:
  1. Which industry are they in?

  2. Why did they purchase your product/solution?

  3. What's the size of the organization?

  4. What other platforms are they using?

Customer:
  1. Who is going to attend the meeting and what are their roles?

  2. How are they using your product/solution?

  3. What is their health score?

  4. Have they reached out to your company in the past?

Call:
  1. What is the reason for the call?

  2. Type of call: Is it a save/upgrade call?

  3. What questions are they going to ask? Do you have all the answers?

  4. If not, where can you find the answers?

** Feel free to add/remove questions according to each call.


The point is to collect all the information you need ahead of time to successfully achieve your goals.


#3 - Understand What You Don't Know


Take another look at your list of questions and identify the questions that were left unanswered.


These questions are your blind spots and as such, your job is to find the answer.


Option #1 - Do your research:

  1. Use Google to learn more about the customer and their organization by looking at their website or finding recent news articles.

  2. Take advantage of the data collected by your system to learn more about how they're using your product.

  3. Reach out internally to those who have been in touch with the customer.

Option #2 - Address these questions during your call.

 

While it might look like a long process, it's pretty easy and straightforward.


This practice has not only helped me improve the quality of my calls and meetings but also increase my Upgrade and Retention Rates.


What are your best practices for call prep?


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