Sales Coach Christine Harrington

Are You Essential to Your Client?

Recently, I was asked at a networking meeting what’s my job? As a good-trained sales professional, I launched into my 30 second commercial. My mouth was moving, as a watched the inquirer move his head up and down as I spoke. I didn’t hear a thing I said. In my head, my answer sounded like one of the parents in a Charlie Brown movie…

”WAH, Wah, wah”.

I’d become too rehearsed.

Afterwards I thought about my 30-second commercial. I thought about the man who inquired. AND I knew I could do better. I had failed him with an over rehearsed answer. Does this sound familiar?

It’s been drummed into our heads that we must have a 30-second commercial. BUT we also must have the good sense to know when the inquirer is asking for a 30-second commercial or asking a question to connect. A 30-second commercial does not connect because it’s all about you.

At network meetings, yes, the 30-second commercial is expected. So do the unexpected instead. Do something that everyone else isn’t doing. Don’t follow…lead something new.

The gentleman who inquired only wanted small talk….like “how are you today?” He wasn’t looking for an actual answer just opening the conversation with a casual question. I should have read the situation better.

So instead of redesigning a new 30-second commercial….let’s go deeper.

Here’s the deeper question …
what is your job? Are you essential? 

Not…. what is your job description, but really…

What is it that you do to create impact for your clients?

What do you do that makes you essential to the success of your clients?

Maybe the deepest question is do your clients see you as essential? If not, what do you need to do to change that?

In Geoffrey James article that appeared in Forbes Magazine…click here…said

Your short-term goal is to walk “arm in arm” with the customer as they arrive at the best possible solution. Your long-term goal is to become part of that customer’s essential business network … and vice versa.

Think about what your job really is and how you can make your job and you essential.

If you’re not essential, you’ll put yourself out of a job! 


Are you essential?  I’d love to hear how in the comments below. Please leave your tips.

AND if you don’t know the answer, spend some time really thinking about your client and how you can become essential to his or her success.

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2 thoughts on “Are You Essential to Your Client?

  1. I am the companies northern bulk oil salesperson. I put my name and my cell number on every customers bulk tanks and stress how they can call me about anything. My retention is great with this. Every time they get oil they see my name.

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