VOL. 129 | NO. 123 | Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Guerrilla Sales & Marketing
9 Steps to Build Prospect Trust
Buyers want to trust the salesperson they’re buying from before they part with their hard-earned money. That’s why building trust is a minimum cost of entry in the sales profession. If your prospects don’t trust you, you’ll always be working much harder than is necessary.
Unfortunately, being trustworthy, in and of itself, isn’t enough to gain buyer trust.
They want to first believe you care about their needs, which starts with listening. Ask high-impact questions to uncover meaningful insight into your prospect, and then listen actively without interruption. Ask clarifying questions to demonstrate your interest, and recap key findings to prove understanding. The more you can get a prospect talking, the higher the likelihood for trust.
Next, help your prospect see you’re there to help them, not sell them. In the course of helping them, a sale may be appropriate, but it may just as likely not be. Let the prospect know early in the conversation you’re not sure what you have to offer is a fit, and you’ll tell them either way.
If a prospect doesn’t have a real need for what you’re selling now, don’t try to push an unneeded product upon them. Instead, talk about future needs and gain agreement to check back in. You might also ask for a referral.
Here’s a sure-fire way to shock a prospect. If a competitor’s product is a better fit for their needs, make that recommendation. That prospect will remember your act of selflessness and will likely be an advocate of yours for life.
Treat your employees well. It’s a good indicator of how you treat your clients.
Take responsibility for problems or errors, and demonstrate that you act quickly to resolve issues.
Speak with authority and demonstrate to your prospect that you are a subject matter expert – a relationship to be valued. Share examples of how other customers have trusted you, and how those decisions have paid off.
Do what you’ll say you’ll do, when you say that you’ll do it. If you promised a proposal by 3 p.m., don’t wait until 3:30 to hit send; over deliver.
Respect their viewpoints, though you don’t necessarily have to agree. When treading on a potentially sensitive topic, ask clarifying questions to demonstrate to the prospect that you understand this is an important subject for them.
Despite the level of integrity with which you operate, you may be unknowingly preventing prospects from trusting you. Follow these nine guidelines, and you’ll find sales closing more naturally.
Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and CEO/Founder of RedRover, a sales training and marketing firm based in Memphis, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).