If you believe your dream client is always right and that it’s your job to sell him what he wants without question, he will never perceive you as a peer. You will be seen as a commodity, just another salesperson operating on a purely transactional basis.

What you want is to be perceived as a peer. A peer challenges his dream client’s thinking when it needs to be challenged. A peer makes sure that whatever he and his client work on together becomes the biggest value-creating initiative they can dream up. A peer does not avoid the difficult issues surrounding the results a client wants.

If you are afraid you will lose your opportunity by bringing other stakeholders into the decision-making process, then you’re not really in control of that process. You’re not giving your dream client good advice and, I am afraid to say, you are not a peer. A peer doesn’t run from additional stakeholders but strives to build consensus among them.

If you’re uncomfortable talking about the investment necessary to produce the results your dream client needs, you are more likely an order-taker, a vendor or a supplier—not someone your dream client can count on for sound advice, not someone who insists on getting the best results for him.

Your dream client isn’t looking for a salesperson. He’s looking for someone who can help him deal with the challenges he faces and capitalize on the opportunities in front of him. He’s looking for a business partner who can give him good counsel and lead him to the right solutions.

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