Daily Sales Tip: Building Trust
Continually setting, and meeting, expectations is one of the easiest and most direct ways to build the strong, trusted relationships you need to close deals.
Building trust allows you to:
1. Set the agenda. If each encounter goes as expected and the prospect gets what they want, they will let you drive the process -- that, in turn, allows you to control the sale, determine the process, set next steps, and take it where you want.
2. Mitigate risk. Buyers want to be sure they are making the right decision. Unfortunately for them, any purchase decision comes with risk. You can mitigate this risk by providing direction at each step of the sales process. If there are no surprises, you create a sense of certainty in an otherwise uncertain endeavor. Certainty helps eliminate doubt in the prospect's mind, removing a major obstacle and allowing you to move the sale forward faster.
3. Be seen as the expert. Delivering as expected demonstrates a certain mastery that inspires confidence in you, your company, and what you are selling. This positions you as the thoughtful and trusted expert as you answer questions, listen and demonstrate understanding, and provide recommendations.
4. Demonstrate what it is like to work with you. Trusted relationships are built over time, and you can start building that trust during the sales process. When you consistently deliver on what you promise, you demonstrate what it will be like to work with you and your company day in and day out.
However, if you over-promise and under-deliver -- by missing deadlines, showing up late to meetings, setting inappropriate expectations -- you lose out on your best opportunity to build trusting relationships with your prospects.
Trust does not come overnight, in fact it can take months, in some cases years, to build, yet it takes only one instance of not following through on your promise to destroy it.
Be mindful of this in your sales conversations and interactions with prospects. Think things through, take the time to make appropriate decisions, and give each prospect the respect they deserve; this allows you to maximize the trust factor.
Take it one step further and think of how you can over-deliver in the sales process. I'm not suggesting you sandbag it. I'm suggesting you set expectations that you're sure you can meet and leave some room for yourself to go above and beyond.
Source: Sales consultant/author Bob Croston