It's a new sales year! Hopefully, you are returning from the holidays rested, rejuvenated and ready to conquer your 2018 sales objectives. It's also awards season, so what better time to reflect on the role we desire with our customers in 2018?"Best Supporting" role should always be our goal!

As sales professionals, our greatest triumphs come in the "Best Supporting" role, since our primary objective is to facilitate the success of our customers so that they can shine as the "Outstanding Lead." Key scenes in this role include:

  • Exploring to understand customers' needs and motivations
  • Giving customers a role in developing our optimal solution
  • Continually giving credit to and thanking customers for making it all possible

If we are committed to spending our time and energy finding ways to delight our customers and support their success, our performance will have some consistent elements:

Saying "yes" all the time is not the answer to customer satisfaction or sales success. We can all recall instances in which we said "yes" knowing it was not the appropriate response. Agreeing to unrealistic expectations or supporting ill-advised initiatives undermines our goal to act as a trusted advisor. If we have been effective in cultivating trusting and productive relationships with customers, we will have the credibility needed to be honest with them.

Of course, we can't give customers everything they want, in every circumstance, but customers should be able to count on us to always say, "Yes, I am committed to your success." "Yes, I will build solutions based on your needs and objectives," and "Yes, I will always strive to over-deliver and delight you."

Even in those instances where you can't accommodate a customer in the manner requested, look for an opportunity to still support your customer's goals. This will likely require further exploration to uncover additional gaps relative to the customer's long-term objectives.

"Stardom" means different things to different people. In the world of professional sales, the biggest stars always play supporting roles!