Become the bridge

Become a better seller with a relational approach | Part 4: Become the bridge

By: Rebecca Bergsland –

This is the fourth article in a series on how to become a better seller by building sustainable win-win relations with clients and potential clients. The discussed tools can be applied to any relationship in your work or private life.

Article overview:

  1. The relationship to yourself
  2. Identify the now
  3. Identify the dream scenario
  4. Become the bridge
  5. Bonus: Make it sustainable

This series on how to become a better seller with a relational approach began by presenting three fundamental sets of actions for personal development which all have the power to impact directly on your sales work. It was described how you can find your “why”, how you genuinely embrace the attitude to give and how you can be your own best example of the value of your services. The second article explained how you can start to build a solid foundation to a client relationship by establishing the current situation and use selective validation to mobilise the client into her/his (and your!) desired direction. Thereafter, part three in the series regarded how to create motivation and identify the client’s dream scenario. This fourth article brings it all together. You will learn how to use the client’s resources and your own services to create a structure that will take the client from their current situation to where they want to be – their dream scenario.

Identify the obstacles

Start this step by gathering information about what is hindering the client from obtaining their dream scenario. Approach the topic with curiosity when you ask for the reasons behind that s/he doesn’t already have what s/he wants. The potential list of obstacles that comes up is your “order list” for what your client wants help with. Perhaps you in your role as an expert are able to see something else that s/he might need. Depending on the nature of your individual roles you should use this directly or indirectly throughout your future work together. For example, a mentor would maybe give direct advice while a coach would be more inclined to assist the other person in having their own epiphanies.  Either way, at this time in the process your most important job is still to make the client feel listened to. Hence, acknowledge the struggle without dwelling on the problems. Working from the list of obstacles, ask the client what s/he would like to have or be instead, to turn the obstacles into possibilities.

Identify the resources

When you have gone through every point on the list, move on to creating a toolbox by identifying possible resources. When you investigate what resources are accessible to the client, always start out from the assumption that s/he already possesses or can get a hold of anything necessary to reach the dream scenario. Letting this shine through in your attitude can help to increase the motivation in the client. Ask for example, “What resources that are available to you right now can assist you in taking the next step?” or “What do you need to do, or whom do you need to collaborate with, to gather the resources that you need?”.

Build the bridge

Now on to one of the most crucial parts of the process: building the structure. It is now that you offer your services as the solution to your client’s obstacles. The client’s resources and your services will together make up the structure – the bridge – that will take the client from their current situation to their dream scenario. A structure is any means, actions or tools that facilitates your client’s journey towards the goal. For a beginner who has decided to run a marathon within six months, the structure could for example consist of any of these things: a daily training program with a personal trainer, an app that tracks the running sessions, a friend who keeps her/him accountable, or all of the above. With a good structure you want your client to come as close as possible to answering yes to the question “Will this for sure take me to my dream scenario?”. The more essential your own part is in this structure, the more important is your role for the client. In turn, this means more business for you. However, be sure to remember the basic principles from the initial article: It is necessary to come from a place of genuinely wanting to give. Once you have decided on a structure, you might want to have your client testing it for some time. Additionally, make sure you know how to measure your future progress. One way to do this is to decide on some important milestones and set the dates that they can be expected to be achieved based on the structure. Finally, don’t forget to celebrate! Recognising the steps forward and lessons learned helps to further motivate your client all the way to the goal.

Summary

This fourth article in the series Become a better seller with a relational approach has discussed how you can create a structure of your client’s resources and your own services to build a bridge between the client’s current situation and their dream scenario. The final and fifth bonus article will explain some simple yet very powerful techniques to make the relationship reciprocally beneficial and sustainable.

The author is Rebecca Bergsland; a professional coach and Business Communication Practitioner in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).

As the owner of Change Coaching & Consulting she is specialized in change processes, relations, and communication and is currently planning a new research project within the field of psychology.

What is your #1 insight from this episode? Please comment below.