We’ve all been fooled. Each of us has a sales ’tale‘ to share about being misled, coerced or manipulated. And our memories — much like our prospects’ memories — are long and often unforgiving! No wonder prospects sometimes feel initially suspicious, anxious and wary of salespeople. So, what are we to do as salespeople who are honest and ethical, and yet still mistrusted by prospects?
Building trust takes time, effort and creation of consistent experiences. This is particularly true in sales where we’re dealing with emotions. A prospective buyer’s feelings are based on perception, not just logic. It may take multiple, positive experiences that are felt in the same way by the prospect before they “feel” comfortable, trust emerges and they begin to feel better about what you’re trying to offer.
We must remember and be sure to address the fears (feelings and perceptions) which are well-entrenched in prospects. They are:
- Fear of a buying mistake:
a.Paying too much
b.Paying too little
c.Buying out of fear
d.Not getting what you truly need
e.Not getting what you really want
- Fear of looking stupid
a.Succumbing to pressure
c.Falling for a ’pitch’
d.Buying to get rid of the salesperson
e.Buying only because you ’liked‘ the salesperson
- Fear of being criticized or ridiculed
a.No one buys from them!
b.How could you?
c.You paid what?
d.Don’t you know their reputation?
e.Why did you ’fall‘ for that?
In every situation, positioning yourself and your product as a source of trust and value would have overcome these feelings. It often takes multiple acts to build trust, but only one mistake to destroy it. Value is the buyer’s perception of “what’s in it for me that’s important to me?” You’d better discover what they perceive as value. This in turn helps solidify trust — and leads to choosing you, because it feels right (trust) and solves their greatest issue (value). After all, that’s what customers truly want isn’t it?