Relationships based on trust are longer lasting and more fruitful than other relationships, and this is as true in sales as it is in other aspects of life. When you can train your sales reps to build trust with a customer, you unleash great potential for growth and influence in your company.
You'll find lots of advice out there for building trust, but much of this advice is based on traditional sales methods. Modern technologies and communication methods have changed the buying environment for customers. Customers now have an incredible amount of information available at their fingertips, and they're not as dependent on the advice and systems of suppliers and vendors. Therefore, you've got to take a new approach if you want to build trust with a customer.
When you teach your sales reps the following three ways to build trust with a customer, you'll see greater sales success in your company:
1. Reach Out to Decision Makers
Your sales reps will approach buyers in all sorts of situations. Some of them will already have identified their weak spots and developed a game plan. These organizations may be more difficult to approach because they will feel that they don't need the help of your sales reps. You need to support these reps with techniques for disruptive engagement. The goal is to present opportunities that have not been seen, risks that are not being considered or other value that the buyer is enticed to engage in.
Other decision makers will be easier to approach because they really do need the help of your sales reps. Finding such decision makers shouldn't be a cue to your sales reps to relax; they should work as hard as ever with welcoming buyers because there's much potential. Regardless of the state of the buyer, your sales reps should always reach out to the decision makers in an organization.
2. Nurture Buyers and Leverage Their Openness
Teach your sales reps to nurture buyers by being attentive to their concerns and questions and asking leading questions of their own. When your sales reps thoroughly resolve concerns and provide valuable education, buyers learn to trust their judgment and recommendations. Sales reps can then ask leading questions that prompt buyers to think of your products and services in ways that can solve their problems.
When your sales reps find that buyers are open to new ideas, that's the time to leverage that openness to new possibilities. Timing is important in sales, and when buyers begin seeing your products in a new light, introduce them to all you have to offer, explaining how your products or services can specifically improve their organization.
3. Coach Customers on How to Buy
Many sales reps focus their efforts on quizzing a company about their purchasing process. They try to find out as much as possible so they know where they stand. But this can feel manipulative, and in the quest to build trust with a customer, sales reps should set themselves apart by offering advice, not seeking too much information.
When sales reps focus on coaching customers on how to buy, they come across as wise and authoritative, as counsellors who can coach buyers through a complicated process, and this perception cultivates a feeling of trust. It's not just a perception, however; it's a solid sales approach that guides your sales reps through many different situations.
By focusing on building trust with customers, your sales reps can earn respect and be seen as authorities. Trust will build in their sales relationships as they find organizations in flux, look for skeptical stakeholders, and coach customers on how to buy.