This is the third in a series of five blog posts about how to create and implement a “SMART” strategy to manage client relationships — one that incorporates personalization and industry expertise into every client interaction. By using this tailored approach, your team will boost your organization’s sales conversion success and deepen those relationships.

Are your relationship managers (RMs) or account executives (AEs) using a “SMART” client strategy?:

Strategic Mindset
Make Recommendations
Alternative Ideas
Real Conversations
Take Less and Give More

Vertical IQ is excited to share our free ebook, “How to Build a ‘SMART’ Sales Organization,” with you! You can download it here.

You developed a Strategic Mindset, learning from the small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) you work with and applying that knowledge strategically to other clients’ businesses. (Choosing a few niche industries to focus on is a great way to achieve this type of industry expertise.) You are using this same Industry Intelligence to Make Recommendations that are informed by your knowledge of the client’s unique situation as well as the nuances of their vertical.

Now you can effectively combine these insights in order to offer Alternative Ideas to your clients.

Industry Intelligence provides critical information and insights about industry trends, challenges, and opportunities to help sales professionals understand what to say with prospects and customers to win, retain, and grow business.

Building a better mousetrap

There is a quote attributed to Thomas Edison that comes to mind when I think about the concept of Alternative Ideas: “There’s a way to do it better. Find it.”

Edison was renowned for his ingenuity and intellect, but he also recognized that oftentimes, the best ideas come from good old-fashioned hard work. For relationship managers and account executives, this means rolling up your sleeves, learning about your client and their industry, and then applying your Industry Intelligence to every aspect of that relationship.

This tactic also is useful when offering guidance to your clients about different ways of achieving their goals…suggestions that might be outside of the box.

For example, let’s say a business owner-client is getting ready to make a consequential choice related to their company. It could be that they want to purchase a building in order to expand their operation. As a financial services professional, you should be prepared to help them consider alternative options for these important business decisions. Perhaps leasing a new space is a better move given the current real estate market, for example.

Or maybe the business owner plans to lease an expensive piece of equipment in order to increase production. With interest rates at historic lows, would it actually be more cost-effective to purchase that equipment instead?

Inform your tailored advice with Industry Intelligence

There are any number of scenarios — from real estate and equipment purchases to leadership decisions, succession planning, or even selling a business — that your client may be pondering where you should be able to offer Alternative Ideas worthy of their consideration.

If nothing else, these ideas can turn into important conversations. And those important conversations build trust, making your guidance invaluable to the owner and their business. But the key to offering effective, tailored guidance is to have a thorough understanding of your client’s industry and how others within that industry are operating. And Industry Intelligence, like you will find on Vertical IQ, can and should help inform your outside-the-box advice.

Here are six ways to use the Industry Intelligence on Vertical IQ to gain the insights needed to offer Alternative Ideas:

  1. Subscribe to the Quarterly Update email for your client’s industry, and forward it to them with a note pointing out any particularly salient trends that they may want to consider.
  2. Print a recent news article from the Industry Profile about the unique way in which one of your client’s peers is succeeding. (What business owner wouldn’t like to know what their competition is doing well?) Mail the article to your client with a note that you will call to discuss how they might take advantage in a similar situation.
  3. Incorporate insightful information from the Industry Trends, How Firms Operate, Capital Financing, Financial Benchmarks, and Banking Solutions chapters of the Industry Profile into your conversation or presentation.
  4. Share the Business Valuation data on the Industry Profile to initiate a conversation with the business owner who may be thinking about what their exit plan options are when they retire. Does it make more sense to sell the business, give the business to a family member, or perhaps create an employee stock option plan (ESOP)?
  5. Review the Local Economies section for the area(s) where your client currently operates, or for any geographies they are considering for expansion, and share pertinent data to help inform their business growth or real estate-related decisions.
  6. Check to see how your client’s industry has been impacted by the pandemic by using Vertical IQ’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. Share this information with your client to initiate a discussion about their business’s own experiences and how you can help them address these issues.

Finding the better way

A successful business strategy must be built with good information and data. So, whenever a client is looking to make a major strategic change, they need to know all of their options.

Big decisions like capital investments in equipment and real estate purchases, or even selling or transitioning the business to a partner, should always be done in consultation with a trusted financial professional — someone who understands not only that individual business but also the intricacies of that particular niche industry.

An advisor who knows how others within the industry are operating can offer outside-the-box ideas to the business owner — Alternative Ideas the owner may not have considered previously. When you can initiate these consultative, tailored conversations, you will build an unparalleled level of trust and respect between you and the client.

“There’s a way to do it better,” said Thomas Edison. And with Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence, you can help your client find it.

Vertical IQ SMART eBookLearn more about how to create a SMART sales strategy by downloading Vertical IQ’s free ebook, “How to Build a ‘SMART’ Sales Organization,” today!


Photo credit: Johannes Plenio via Unsplash