Truth and Sincerity: the Currency of Trust in Selling
While building trust has always been a crucial part of the sales process, it's become even more important in the digital age. Modern consumers expect to be treated well, and are quick to flee from the traditional "high-pressure" sales techniques. If you can't convince them that their needs are being considered, they'll probably go elsewhere.
People buy from brands they trust.
This makes trust the unofficial "currency" of selling. In your interactions with your customers, whether it's in person, on the phone, or through email, you have to constantly be aware of their trust levels and work on improving them.
If you want to do this, you need to embrace customer-focused sales.
Customer-Focused Sales Tactics Build Trust
Trust is an intangible thing, especially in sales. The customer is always aware that a salesman wants to sell something, and they aren't going to forget it. What they need to believe is that you also care about fulfilling their own wishes as well, and that you aren't simply trying to sell them what YOU want to sell.
Here are a few tactics to try:
Listen to the customer's needs. Don't lead off with your sales pitch. Lead off with questions to find out what, exactly, the customer's problem or desire is, and honestly look for the product that will best suit their needs. Practice your listening skills at least as much as your pitch; they'll serve you better.
Don't be a know-it-all. If a customer asks you a question about the product you can't answer, don't make one up. This is the digital age. Pull out a smartphone or tablet and find the answer for them. Being honest about gaps in your knowledge and then immediately finding the answer is a great trust-builder.
Mirror them. Pay attention to details of how they present themselves. Do they speak slowly or quickly? What sorts of gestures and mannerisms do they use? Try to adopt a bit of your customer's mannerisms, subtly. Acting more like "their kind of people" can tend to make them lower their mental shields a bit.
Show an interest. Don't just quiz them for the necessary details about make, model, and color. Ask about how they'll be using the product, and in what situations? Besides encouraging them to open up a bit, and possibly giving you a chance to ask about their work or family, you can also learn new details about their needs that can help you find a better product.
Be transparent. If you're selling to the public, don't vanish into the back to "talk with your manager" and keep them hanging. That's a cheap trick most people resent. Try to do as much business as you can in front of them. If you're working in B2B or B2G, write up proposals in the same room as your customer, so that you can collaborate and work through it as you go.
Be sincere. You need to honestly be a "people person," and that doesn't just mean a manipulator. The customer needs to believe that you do have an interest in their family or their office systems, beyond just small talk. Fundamentally, if they think it's all a pitch, it won't work.
Sell Without Selling
In short, the trick to gaining trustworthiness is to make the sales process seem as little like selling as possible. Make it feel like a discussion of a problem and an exploration of possible solutions to that problem. Focus on your customer's needs and honestly make them happy, and you won't just make a sale today, you'll make a repeat customer.
Call DeepSky Marketing to find out how you can create profitable marketing strategies for your company. DeepSky Marketing is a company that provides businesses with profitable marketing systems and verifiable return on investment (ROI). To schedule a brief no-cost consultation call 707 823-3888.
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