If you want to become more successful at selling, make sure that your customer trusts you. It doesn't matter what you are selling (product, service or idea), or who you are selling to (client, colleague or spouse). The more trust you engender, the more likely they will buy.
There is no need to waste your time here with lengthy rationale. Just consider the last time you bought something from someone you distrusted. My bet is that you'll find it quite hard to think of an example. Much easier is to think of a time when you bought something from someone you did trust. How did you feel about the transaction? What difference does it make to you that you trusted the individual (or company)?
Rather than debate how you might be able to quantify the amount of trust your client is placing in you, put some thought into how you can enhance the level of trust which you are able to build in your relationships, especially the most important ones.
Here are seven ways you can do this:
- Demonstrate genuine interest in the person you are selling to. No, not pretend interest. Get sincerely interested in their welfare and it will shine through.
- Share information about yourself. People find it difficult to trust people they don't know. You don't have to share all the gory detail, but ensure it is enough that they begin to know you as a person.
- Tell them the negatives about your proposal. If you don't, they'll go and ask someone else. If you do, they'll respect you for your honesty, and trust you even more.
- Stop selling so much and start helping them decide. I've heard it is only sales people who like to be sold to. Everyone else prefers to stay in control and make their own decisions.
- Keep them informed. Do you like to be kept in the dark? Don't you just hate having to chase people for information? Are your clients any different? Make sure and keep them informed and manage expectations.
- Don't play games. So, you've got a few sales tricks up your sleeve? I'm sure they work for you (at least some of the time), but just be aware that NOBODY likes to be played for a fool. As soon as they rumble what you're up to, it's game over for trust.
- Be yourself. Yeah, sales people are adaptable and can be whatever the client wants them to be. Yet, if you ask most buyers, what they really want is to deal with a real person. So, be careful not to mask the real you.
All of these take time and effort, especially if you are unaccustomed to them. Yet, the more you practice, the more automatic and habitual they will become.
My parting question is the good old motivational one: how will you benefit if you are able to maximise the level of trust with your client? You know this – the more benefits you can identify, the more likely it will be that you'll make the investment and reap the reward.
Colin Gautrey, Facilitator and Executive Coach and Author of the Influence Blog and Influential Leadership: A Leader's Guide to Getting Things Done. Over 10 years focused on helping people to become more influential in the world of work.