Build trust on a personal and professional level
One of the questions that was recently messaged to me was, “What can I do to speed up the trust-building process with my potential customer?” This is a really good question. It highlights a problem that is unique to our time. The consumer is more informed than they’ve ever been before. By the time you talk to your consumer or prospect they have already researched you and your competitor. They’ve already made a decision where you rank compared to the competition. The odds of us approaching a prospect that doesn’t know anything about our company or our product are very slim now. Information is easily accessible to everyone. This makes the trust-building process incredibly important even more so now than ever before. Here are two ways you can build trust with your prospect. And one is personal and one is professional. Let’s talk about them both.
Connect on a human level
When you build personal trust with your prospect, the end result is they see you as a human. As sales reps sometimes we want to sell our product or service so bad, that we feature dump, and we try to just get all the information out and tell our prospects why our product is so good, so great, they need it. Feature dumping does not build trust. You have to go beyond the usual rapport building phase to truly build trust. To build trust on a personal level, you have to use a personal story, and use vulnerability. By you demonstrating you’re vulnerable and sharing your personal story with your prospect, they’re naturally going to want to do the same thing in return. It’s the law of reciprocity. I try to share a personal story immediately. It doesn’t have to be a long story, but it should be just personal enough that their first impression of me is one of a regular guy, not a salesguy. It could be anything as long as it’s relevant to the moment you are in. If you’re meeting on a Monday, you might talk about your weekend, then ask them about their. If the Dodgers just won the World Series and you’re a fan, you could talk about that and see if you share a bond there. If it’s the holidays, talk about your plans and ask them about theirs. You get the idea. Keep it relevant, current and conversational so it feels natural. You have to build the dynamic that you’re not a robotic salesperson, not a commission junkie here trying to make money. Trading personal stories builds a relationship. It is how we build a personal level of trust.
Do your homework
Now look, just because you build that personal trust, doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to get the sale. The next step is to build professional trust. This goes back to the skills and laws of influencing people. Professional trust is built using one of multiple strategies. One way to build professional trust by providing social proof. This can include third-party stories, case studies, testimonials, online reviews, video testimonials. You want to keep a database of social reviews that demonstrate to your prospect that other prospects have benefited from your product or service. Another way to bring a professional level of trust immediately is through the questions you ask your prospect. If you’re asking questions on information that can easily be found online in advance, you’re not building trust. Your prospect wants to know that you are prepared for that appointment. Asking questions that demonstrate I’ve done my homework to be in front of this prospect, they know I take this appointment seriously and I am a professional. Not only does asking a question that can easily be found online not build trust, it does the exact opposite. You are telling your prospect that you didn’t care enough about this appointment to do the simple research about their company that they probably already did about your company.
Building professional trust and personal trust doesn’t mean you’re going to close every sale of course. This is a long ball game. Some sales are one-call closes. Some sales are multiple call closes. The one thing that has to remain constant is we are focused on building trust each and every step of the way. So using personal stories to demonstrate you’re a trustworthy person, or using social proof and adequate research, can help build the professional trustworthiness. Those two things are great but those two things will not get you every sale. If you find that you’re building trust but not closing those sales, reach out to me, I’d love to help you out.A