When it comes to defining team building from the client’s point of view, professional services firms have to understand what constitutes teamwork in the first place.A team is a group of people who have a collective aim and work together to create synergy. What the client of a professional services firm is looking for – whether or not they’re aware of it – is a firm that will work together with them as a team, and even captain their efforts. The firm needs to introduce the kind of expertise that means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Cooperation and flexibility are crucial components here, and they’re not always a given.As a member of a professional services firm, it’s important to bear in mind that there are two opposing fears in the minds of the prospects you are selling to. One is the fear of the sales process itself. Recognize that the services you’re offering are of a specialized nature. In fact, it’s this specialization that has led your prospect into the conversation with you in the first place.The second fear is a little more obvious, but it’s also subtle. Though the prospect may fear the sales process itself, they also may fear that they will walk away empty-handed – or worse. In many cases, the client often has a deep-seated fear of being manipulated or being sold a bill of goods. They want to know that you’re on their side. They need you to assuage these fears and reinforce the ethic of teamwork.The message is fundamental for closing any significant sales transaction. Once you’re in a closing situation, establishing your product or service as a must-buy is the key deliverable for people who you may be selling to – many of whom are risk-averse and sales resistant.In order for you and your client to work together toward common goals at all, your client has to first understand your dedication to working with them – not wrestling them to sign on the dotted line.There are a number of ways you can accomplish this before you ever reach the Closing Zone. One of the best methods is to establish your firms credibility as a team player within your specific industry. Reach out to research foundations or local boards of directors in which you can provide your professional expertise. Give decisive preference to those foundations and boards with current or prospective clients whom you may be selling to (or want to sell to) that are already involved.Start by sharing your knowledge within your industry. Research then contact your association or trade industry newsletter, magazine publishers, and professionally appropriate web and bogging sites. You can offer short articles, meaningful content and presentations that capture the depth of your knowledge. Putting your platform out there within your professional community will strengthen both your position and your reputation among your prospects. It will seed the idea that building the spirit of teamwork is a top priority for you. Your prospect will see you as a team player long before you ever enter the Closing Zone.
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