As with any relationship, the foundation of every good sales relationship is trust. But with sales relationships, you don’t have months or years to build trust.
Instead you have just minutes or hours.
Getting your customers to trust you is essential for a number of reasons, the main reason being that customers will not buy from you or refer people to a salesperson that they do not trust.
It’s as simple as that.
The level of trust that a customer has in you reflects how quickly the customer will buy from you, and generally, the quicker they buy from you, the higher your end profit.
The goal of any salesperson should be to secure the trust of the customer they are selling to, but this is by no means an easy task.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘selling ice to eskimos’, you will know that salespeople can’t always sell products to customers that want them, often having to persuade customers to go against their best interests or to purchase something they weren’t seeking to purchase.
A study by Daniel Pink, author of ‘To Sell Is Human’ found that the most common adjectives used to describe salespeople were the words ‘pushy,’ ‘yuck,’ ‘ugh,’ ‘hard,’ ‘difficult,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘sleazy,’ ‘slimy,’ and ‘manipulative’.
Due to the negative stereotype surrounding salespeople, it’s important to break down the wall surrounding a customer and the best way to do this is by gaining their trust.
Gaining a customer’s trust doesn’t necessarily result in an instant sale, but it does increase the likelihood of the customer coming to you for future business and will mean they are more likely to recommend you to family and friends looking for similar products or services.
The following post gives tips on what to do and what not to do in order to improve your credibility as a salesperson and encourage customers to put their trust in you.
Top 6 Sales Tips and Secrets You Need to Grow Your Business
#1. Know Your Customer
Unless you take the time to find out what your customers need, how will you know whether your products or services can help them?
In order to successfully make a sale, you first need to connect with your customer and try to find similarities between the two of you to make your connection stronger.
By getting to know your customer, you will find out their needs and can accurately describe how your product will help them.
#2. Be a Good Listener
Despite the ‘pushy’ stereotype of salespeople, those with good sales skills are great listeners. It’s important not only to listen, but to show that you are interested in what your customer has to say.
Listening carefully to your customer will allow you to find the right answers and successfully demonstrate how your business can help them. This comes across as far more natural than a planned sales pitch that you repeat to all your customers.
#3. Sell Yourself Before Your Product
Before selling your product, learning how to sell yourself first is vital to your success as a salesperson.
Top sales influencer and author of award-winning blog, Sales Source, Geoffrey James says that: ‘before anybody is going to buy from you or your company, they’ve got to ‘buy’ the idea that you’re somebody worth working with’.
The best way to do this is to show your passion for your product or service. After shareholders pressed on Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO for greater profits, he told them that he didn’t care about Return On Investment (ROI), adding: “We, here at Apple do it in the way we do simply because we think it is right and good!”
#4. Don’t Take It Personally
The reality is that you’re not always going to make a sale, so it’s important that you know how to deal with rejection. “When 100 doors are slammed in your face, go to the door number 101 and be just as enthusiastic as you were at the beginning,” says Jean Paul DeJoria, the co-founder of Jean Mitchel Systems.
Particularly if you’re just starting a new business, it’s easy to doubt your idea after a few rejections, but if you have faith in your business and stay positive, eventually that ‘no’ will turn into a ‘yes’.
A successful salesperson knows when it’s time to move on and doesn’t waste time selling a product to someone that shows no interest in your product or service. “Learn as quickly as you can how to know when it’s time to move on,” says leading sales trainer, Barry Farber.
#5. Ensure You Follow Up
Research shows that follow up is an extremely effective way of developing customer loyalty.
But the 2017 Customer Service Benchmark report, a study of how 500 companies handle customer support, found that 99% of companies do not follow up with customers to see if they are satisfied with the response.
Those businesses that do follow up are sure to stand out in the minds of customers, showing them that you care about more than just selling your products and services.
Whether you pick up the phone or send an email to check in, this personal touch is sure to create customer loyalty and bring in new referrals.
#6. Offer On-Site Visits
If your business is mobile, you can go the extra mile in making things easier and more efficient for the customer by travelling to them.
On-site visits not only allow you to set your own hours, but by going out of your way to help the customer, you are more likely to come across as a salesperson they can trust and you are also offering them something a lot of other businesses can’t as a mobile business.
With different places to travel to, it can also be hard to stay on top of your schedule, so it’s a good idea to use a booking system that notifies you when a new client has booked.
What Not To Do When Selling
Don’t Sell Without Building Trust
As we said previously, without trust, you don’t have a chance of securing business with a customer.
“The most important ingredient in a long-term sales relationship is trust,” says Brian Tracy, author of ‘Advanced Selling Strategies’ and ‘The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success’.
The more trust you have with the customer, “the easier it is to sell and keep selling to the customer,” he says.
Don’t Sell Without Asking Questions`
In order to identify your customer’s needs, you need to ask them questions and under no circumstances, should you start selling your product or service without asking the customer about themselves.
Start by asking open questions to get an idea of how you can help the customer, such as ‘Would you mind telling me about your current situation?’ and ‘Who do you currently use for this service?’ before leading into the sale.
Don’t Talk Too Much
Research by Sales Strategist and Author, Marc Wayshak found that the average salesperson talks over 81 percent of the time in a selling situation.
When in actual fact, the longer you stay quiet, the more likely the client is to give you an answer. Once they have made the purchase they told they are not interested in, then you can talk.
Don’t Mislead Customers
If you mislead the customer, whether you’re misrepresenting the product or service, or lying about how it will benefit them, nine times out of ten, the customer will see through this.
If not immediately, then soon after, at which point they will give you a bad review and deter others from contacting your business.
Either way, it won’t end well. Instead, you should take an honest approach, under promising and over delivering, as well as highlighting how your product or service will benefit the customer.
How do you gain your prospect’s trust in sales? If you have any tips on what to do or what to avoid when it comes to selling, share them with us in the comments section below.
This is a guest post from Arash Asli. Arash is at the forefront of helping SMBs grow their businesses. He’s also the CEO of Yocale, an online scheduling and marketing platform. His thought leadership have been featured in major publications including Forbes, Huffington Post, and Inc. Arash Asli is honoured to have been named among the Top 40 Under 40 business executive by Business in Vancouver.