Last month, I covered the Golden Rule of Sales—give people the ability to do what they currently can’t do but would really want to do if they only knew they could have done it. This month, I would like to cover some additional areas to help take your sales to the next level.

Always remember that you’re not simply selling a “thing”; you’re selling the competitive advantage of the product. In other words, part of your job is to help your customers use the product you sell to gain competitive advantage. No wonder margins are slim. Most companies simply sell the product, deliver it, and then leave. It’s then up to the customer to figure out specific guidelines for maximizing the use of the product organizationally. Is it any wonder why so many customers underutilize their purchases?

Obviously you can’t share secrets or proprietary information you learn about any of your other customers, but you can go beyond the guidelines and actually help customers figure out how to get a competitive advantage by using your product. By offering that kind of knowledge, you could possibly even charge more for your product because now you’re giving business value that far exceeds the value of the individual product.

You need to shift from being a vendor to being a trusted advisor. A vendor simply supplies a product. A trusted advisor supplies true advantage. For example, a trusted advisor will recommend what is best for the customer, not best for the salesperson. When you seek that higher ground and become a trusted advisor, your clients trust you more.

Remember that the future is all about relationships. Relationships are all about trust, and you gain trust by earning it. So never teach people to distrust you by stretching the truth or hiding some pertinent information. To differentiate, you need to raise the bar on trust.

When you focus on redefining what you already have you can take your current offering and leverage it to new levels. That’s when you become a sales leader, not because of some fast-talking sales pitch, but because of your commitment to your customers and their true needs. So focus on these four elements of redefining today and you’ll be able to give your customers tools and solutions they never dreamed possible. As a result, both you and your company will attain new levels of success and realize the profit potential you always knew existed.