Trust. It's a powerful word. Sales professionals know that in order to build and maintain the kind of interdependent customer relationships that drive success, they must first earn their customers' trust. In his article, "How to Build Customer Trust: 9 Rules," author Geoffrey James, offers professional selling techniques to help build client relationships that are based on a foundation of trust. Below is a summary:
- Be yourself. Don't go into a sales meeting acting/sounding like a sales person. Be conversational, and treat the meeting as if you are talking with a client.
- Value the relationship. Truly believe in the fact that the client relationship is important and that you have something of value to offer your client.
- Be curious about people. Customers are drawn to sales professionals who show interest in them. Curiosity also provides you with the opportunity to learn new things about your client and make new connections.
- Be consistent. Do what you say you will do, and be persistent with it. Giving your client the chance to be able to predict your behavior will make him or her more likely to trust you.
- Seek the truth. Your sales strategy should be based on your genuine interest in finding the right solution for your client's needs (GAP). Working on discovering the solution together can result in the emergence of trust.
- Keep an open mind. Show your client that you've got his or her best interest at heart by being open to other solutions.
- Have a real dialog. Keep the meeting conversational in nature, and most importantly, listen to your customer. Don't just present a sales pitch or chit-chat with him or her. Focus on discussing real business issues.
- Be a professional. Show that you are serious about what you do, and take the time to learn everything you can about your client and his or her industry.
- Show real integrity. Never promise what you can't deliver, and be willing to show decisiveness and take a stand on what you believe is the right solution.
Incorporating these 9 tips into your sales strategy can help you experience the full power of trust in your customer relationships, which is the foundation of long-term sales success.