By Trevor Shorte
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” — Zig Ziglar
For most of us, when you are looking to buy something, regardless of whether it’s a small or big-ticket item, trust is an important factor in the decision-making process. I’ve talked about this before, but the reality is that people aren’t going to give you their money, if they don’t trust you. Regardless, if you are selling Business to Business or Business to Consumer, budgets are tightening everywhere. The bottom line is if you want to sell your stuff, you have to build trust with your audience.
Establishing trust isn’t an easy task when you’re meeting someone for the first time. People have a natural tendency to be risk averse in this day and age, especially if they have been burned in the past. The internet has become a place where you can get any kind of information on any product or service, any time you want. With the amount of misinformation running wild out there, it’s becoming more challenging for people to discern what is real, or what’s a scam.
Further complicating matters is the fact that people are usually skeptical of those who try to sell them things. Nobody wants to willingly put themselves or their business in harm’s way so they are going to be more wary of anyone that comes around claiming to have the solution to all of their problems.
What do you have to do to gain the trust of your prospects then?
To make yourself a trusted advisor to your potential customers, you really need to know your stuff. I’m not just talking about knowing the features and benefits of your product or service inside and out. (That’s always super important) You need to be able to show that you know things like:
- The marketplace and where your product fits in it
- Your competitors, what they offer, what makes you different
- Your understanding of your prospect’s challenges and how you can help them solve the problem they have.
Being knowledgeable in these areas goes a long way in demonstrating that you can give customers good advice and help them find solutions to their problems.
Do what you can to create a personal connection
Creating a connection with another human being is something that we have been doing since birth. So why do we completely forgo that in a sales situation? Just being yourself, acting in a genuine manner, and showing interest in the person you’re talking to, are great ways to create that connection.
Empathy is the capacity to be able to understand what another person is feeling. In a sales scenario, the person you are talking to is looking to solve a problem that they have. Can you put yourself in their shoes? Does your approach demonstrate that you understand what they are looking to do and how you can help?
Be honest in your approach
What’s the easiest way to earn a potential client’s trust? Don’t lie to them. You have to be willing to tell them the truth, even if it means that you won’t get their business. If you aren’t able to help them, then you should have the integrity to say so. If you are clear about what you can and cannot do for people, they are more likely to trust that you are looking out for their best interests.
Offer something that lowers the risk
One way that you can show that you believe in what you’re selling and that it will meet their needs is to offer some kind of guarantee. Having fair return policies signals to your customers that while you expect them to be happy with the decision that they have made to buy from you, if they aren’t totally happy with the experience, they won’t lose their investment.
The single most definitive way to know that you have earned the trust of your clients is when they refer others to you. Most people value their personal networks and guard them very closely. When you get a referral from someone, it means that person has person has decided that you are trustworthy and can provide the same value for those in their network.
Trust is something that takes time to develop but can be shattered in an instant. If you are personable, honest, and act with integrity in your sales interactions, you will close more deals. Your clients will trust you if they believe that you have their back and are not out to screw them over.
Not sure how to get started? Book a free 20-minute consultation with me!