An oft-cited survey by the Consumer Executive Board (CEB) reveals buyers today are at least 57% through the purchase cycle before reaching out to a vendor.
Some of the survey respondents said they were close to 70% through the decision-making process before making contact.
Is there anything a data center can do to influence consumer opinion at that point? Maybe. However, a better approach is to influence potential clients when they are in the pre-purchase research stage.
Outbound marketing does not appear to be the answer in that respect. Most buyers mastered the art of selective consumption and ignore disruptions such as cold calls, web ads, and email campaigns. For maximum effect and opportunity, the buyer must be convinced to approach the data center, and gaining this trusted advisor status is often necessary to bring them in.
Trusted Advisor Status
People are an important part of B2B sales. While buyers certainly take brands and their public perception into account, they are also impressed by the consultant or salesperson they interact with. Those who use data center consulting to gain a trusted advisor status can have a significant impact in the early stages of the buyer journey, and turn that impact into a sale.
Data center consulting requires a public platform to reach and persuade clients. To build a strong one, the consultant can:
- Write articles for print publication and online distribution
- Set up a blog and post articles two to three times a week for ideal results
- Use social media to post colocation quick tips, advice, and answers to questions
- If resources permit, set up a YouTube channel to post ‘how to’ videos and answer questions
The Right Approach
Gaining the confidence of early-stage buyers requires a particular mindset as well as strategic approach. Data center consultants must make it their mission to help clients get services that solve their problems. If someone perceives them as someone more focused on his or her commission than the customer’s best interests, it eliminates trust right away.
In relationship selling, demonstrating competence and credibility is able important to predict and address client concerns; in turn, this leads to trust. Becoming recognized as an industry expert can is accomplished by publishing content that reflects the data center consultant’s expertise and integrity.
Make It Easy for the Customer to Buy
Trusted advisors make it easier for customers to make a purchase, but not according to a sales-centric model. Instead, they:
- Help the customer understand the problem colocation services solve and the importance of quickly acting on it
- Show solutions with genuine value for them instead of trying to push higher-priced packages
- Clarify the features and benefits of potential solutions
- Share business insights to assist in decision-making
- Assist the customer in getting organizational buy-in
Actions made with the client’s best interests as the focus strengthens their trust and can deepen into a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship.
Simplify the Complex
Although buyers today have vast amounts of information available to assist in purchasing decisions, the reality is that so much data can be disorienting. Trusted advisors help make sense of complex information and cut through all the noise to reach a colocation solution that’s right for their organization.
Once a trusted advisor status is gained, consultants must maintain it by going above and beyond to keep client faith strong. Many salespeople and consultants seem to do the bare minimum to make a sale, which is why customers may initially be cynical. Gaining and keeping their trust will provide excellent business value both to the client and data center.
Have your data center consultants reached trusted advisor status? How did they achieve this? Let us know in the Comments below.
To learn more about how to obtain trusted advisor status as a data center consultant, be sure to watch the free, on-demand “How Colocation Data Centers Can Differentiate to Grow Leads, Revenue, and ROI”
Topics:- Data Center Colocation