To be successful in sales, establishing trust with prospects is #1 on the list. You could have the best product in the world, but losing credibility with a buyer will avert the sale every time. Are you finding yourself following up with prospects time after time and revising the same issues and concerns? If each interaction is not productive in some way, chances are they do not feel confident enough to commit.
In today’s market, buyers have unlimited resources and information at their fingertips. At the same time, they are increasingly hesitant to believe what a sales rep is presenting to them, especially if they have been burned in the past. To gain trust, sales reps need convince prospects that they have their best interests in mind. Below are 7 easy ways to remind buyers that your proposal is genuine:
1. Do your homework. Appearing knowledgeable about the product is a key factor in building trust with prospects and customers. When selling, you need to know the product inside and out and be prepared to answer any questions thrown at you. It’s helpful to prepare before a meeting – understand the buyer and jot down potential topics that could come up. If you don’t know something, be resourceful. If you aren’t able to help, know someone or something that can.
2. Be helpful. This one might seem obvious, but the prospect needs to believe that you are there to help them achieve what they are looking for. Provide insight and valuable information at each point of contact, and offer advice. Instead of making promises, show the prospect your value now. Many people are all talk, so prove that you aren’t.
3. Stay positive. Negativity will lose the sale every time. Avoid the temptation to argue with prospects, and try to find a way to put a positive spin on any negative feedback they provide. When talking about competitors, focus more on what you CAN offer, rather than what the competition CAN’T offer. Slamming other companies just makes you appear unprofessional.
4. Keep commitments. There’s no faster way to lose credibility than showing up late for a meeting or forgetting to call someone back. Don’t promise things that you can’t deliver – if you said you were going to send materials before Friday than follow through with it. Using an online contact management software like Blitz can help remind you to follow up and prevents leads from falling through the cracks. Your prospects will learn quick enough that you can be trusted.
5. Get them to talk. Spending an extra 10 minutes to prepare questions can really make a difference. Really listen to the responses and focus on their needs. Simply diving into a sales pitch without understanding a buyer’s needs is a waste of time for both parties – nobody wants to listen to you ramble on about 10 things your product can do that doesn’t even apply to them. While the prospect is talking, do not interrupt or criticize.
6. Offer a trial. If possible, allow the prospect to test the product for themselves prior to purchasing to alleviate any concerns.
7. Know your online presence. Everyone Googles these days. In addition to your company’s website, create a LinkedIn with accurate and updated information, be aware of any online reviews, and know what comes up when a prospect searches for your name. If you really want to go the extra mile, publish testimonials or white pages to confirm your credibility as a professional. Building trust before the initial contact creates a great first impression with minimal time and effort.