The discussion tonight ventured into the realm of sales professional working at professional services firms. I spoke on a panel on the topic of extending the effectiveness of professional networks. The group was the Professional Services Executive Roundtable meeting in Westlake Village just west of downtown Los Angeles (the groups short name is the 101 Roundtable referring to the 101 Freeway that feeds much of that area). Side note: if you are a professional services executive in that area my advise is to JOIN THAT GROUP.
Anyway... Toward the end of the discussion with the audience the questions turned towards that murky ground around sales professionals selling services when they are not the person who will ultimately hold the relationship. Fellow panelist Duane X (I will replace the X as soon as I retrieve it from my office workstation) of Mercer Insurance is a just such a sales professional. His answer was eloquent and on point.
His role is not to create relationships that only he can manage, but to create relationships of trust in his guidance toward who is best suited to taking care of the clients need. In essence, Duane is a matchmaker. His role is not so much to understand the service of his firm or the need of the client as much as it is to know the personalities of each side and make the correct introductions.
Of course there is much on the technical side of things to know, but take it from Duane, the chemistry of paired partners is critical to building something that will last.
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