When a customer has trust in you, you can charge higher prices than your competitors do, sell them different services or products than they were looking for and provide a longer wait for delivery – and yet your customers will still buy from you. When customers have trust in you, that trust truly is that powerful.
When a salesman tries to understand or explain why they didn’t win the big sale that they felt they deserved or should have closed the reason usually isn’t the features or services. (or lack of) The reason is typically because the customer had more trust in another vendor. This trust could be due to the salesman himself, the experience he had with your company versus theirs and a million other reasons that factor into their decision process.
Don’t be alarmed. This is actually great news for everyone who is not the lowest-priced provider or who doesn’t have the latest bells and whistles. It means that sometimes the salesperson that is selling against a product that is far more superior to their's, they may still win the sale based on an intangible – like trust.
Don’t get mad – get smart. Here are five suggestions that can help your business gain more trust. Remember it’s much more powerful to demonstrate reasons to be trusted than to just talk about it.
- Start by Building Trust in your Company– If your company has a great background, has been in business for several years, has certificates or awards or anything that can validate the trustworthiness of your business – showcase it on your website, show it within your office and make sure your salesman have copies of them. These certificates and information are called “silent sellers.”
- While speaking with a client or potential client Build Trust in Your Products & Services –Testimonials are valuable assets to your company. Allowing a potential customer to know and understand that you’ve sold this product or service to someone with success and that they have nothing but good things to say, speaks volumes. Even when competing against the lowest price in the market, while they aren’t receiving a “better price” they are receiving piece of mind that they are buying a quality product or a service that is not a gamble. Think of simple ways you can help your customers trust your offerings more completely and quickly.
- Your customers must be able to Build Trust in You. Having your sales staff or yourself earn customer’s trust as a person starts with the basics. Be on time, don’t make promises you can’t keep and be honest. While these all seem basic, a lot of the time these go overlooked. If you have a 1:00pm meeting with someone, don’t show up at 1:15pm. Do you think they’ll trust you to provide you with the 10 services or products they want to buy? Can they trust you with the turnaround time of the Tuesday due date you gave them?
While many businesses don’t feel time holds that much value and 15 minutes late, is “just 15 minutes late” it can cause subconscious decisions and allow your customers to ask questions they may not have asked otherwise.
There are other numerous things you can do to help build trust in yourself. By being honest about the services they are interested in, maybe turning down a service or product they really don’t need or sharing a sale with them of something they were going to buy anyway. These all add trust and value to the company and more importantly to you as a person.
- While the business, products and services and people are important, how they reached you is the first impression of your company and that’s why we’ll focus on Building Trust in your Marketing – Your marketing and sales approaches should not stretch the truth or lie to try and generate business. Your customers have a radar on to determine when a business is lying or when marketing pieces don’t add up. If one advertising says 10 years in business while another says 20 – a red flag will be raised. It forces them to think twice about contacting you, or doing business with your company. Be consistent within your marketing and advertising approaches but more importantly stay honest.
- Where you stand within your industry is important and that’s why our final suggestion is Building Trust within your Industry – In some cases, industries as a whole have a bad reputation. Sometimes your industry or service may just be new therefore a lack of trust within your niche is normal. Even if you run a trustworthy operation, you still may have a selling challenge. Stay involved and on the look out for articles on your industry that showcase the good side or the key moments in your industry. Make copies of these, share them with your customers and mention them when you can. By building an article section with resources and tips for your customers is a great way to show more information about your industry, to provide knowledge to your customers and more importantly to show your customers that your company knows what it is doing.
While there are numerous ways you can increase your sales, increasing the trust in your company is a great way to start. The trust people and businesses have in your company, services and products, in you and your sales staff, in your marketing and in your industry is one of the most cost-effective ways to sell more against the lower priced competition and to close at better margins.