Fly’s Friday Five: Successful Sellers Value Trust Over Being Liked

Written by: Gary Fly
Flys Friday Five

 

Today, I’ll be talking with you a little bit more about how to sell your way through the pandemic. As you know, I believe, and we believe, that the way companies are going to really make it through these challenging times is to sell your way through it.

And there are some critical components to selling right now that I think are even more important or more heightened and that buyers are more sensitive to than they ever have been in the past.

One of those things that we’ve discovered is the idea of trust. Many sellers have a predisposition to being liked, and we have learned through surveys, work with clients, interviews with buyers, and in our own experiences that right now trust is much more important than being liked.

In fact, the most successful sellers we’ve seen time and time again don’t think about being liked, but they think a lot about being trusted. So, I want to unpack that a little bit. We recently did a webinar last week with Michelle Richardson and Dan Markin, and we’ll provide you a link to that because it really started to expand on this idea.

Following the webinar, we had some coaching sessions, and it was uncanny how this idea of trust came up time and time again. It wasn’t just what is trust, but it was how do you gain trust? In today’s world, where maybe you were having to deliver bad news or unexpected news around price increases and whatnot, how do you gain trust in that environment?

So, I want to talk about that specifically. I want to give you a couple of ideas around how we think people and salespeople can create trust. I think as a sales leader, as a company leader, we ought to think about this throughout our organization. And, you know, it’s something, frankly, that I have been paying a lot of attention to. My natural predisposition on our Brooks Talent Index, which is an assessment we use, is I’m a high I; I’m an influencer or a talker. So, verbal cues, having conversations, and understanding how you’re doing are important to me, but it drags on conversations. We’re finding that right now it’s important to have clear and concise conversations and relay good information. So, I realize that my own natural predisposition has to be moderated in this current environment.

So how do you as a salesperson, as a sales leader, as a company leader, gain trust? There are five things I wanted to talk about.

  1. You need to ask good questions and don’t assume anything. Last Friday, I had a discussion with one of our clients and was having to deliver what I considered bad news. As the conversation unfolded, I realized that we actually had a solution that would match their needs, but we didn’t fully understand their needs. So, it was through an open conversation that I was able to understand that in this particular coaching situation, they wanted to have a lot of interactivity and they wanted to have real engagement tied back to some homework we’ve given. We thought they wanted to have familiarity with the facilitator, and that was not it at all. So, understanding and not assuming what’s really going on was the key.
  2. Be proactive and tell what you know. Don’t pretend to know something you don’t and don’t elaborate if you don’t have the details but be proactive and reach out to the client. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you. Tell what you know and if you don’t know something, admit that, or give them the best information you can.
  3. Make meetings and calls beneficial. Don’t just call to call. Don’t just show up to build rapport, like my tendency would be, but make the calls meaningful. I had a recent discussion with an SVP of sales of a brand I’m sure you’re familiar with, who’s a client of ours. He was very specific to say one of the things he does to ensure his team has good relationships with clients is that they have the cell phone numbers of the owners of the business or the senior sales leaders. The way he knows that the relationship is strong is when his team calls on the cell phone, the other person answers because that other person knows the information is going to be helpful, the call is going to be beneficial, and it’s not going to be a waste of time. So, the third thing is to make calls and meetings meaningful.
  4. Really work to help clients succeed. We may not be the answer for everybody, and we need to admit that. You may not have a solution that your client needs at a point in time. But, if you understand through good questioning what their real needs are and you help them be successful then you’ll gain an awful lot of trust with them, both in the near term and the long term.
  5. Understand your predisposition or your communication style. I mentioned that I’m an influencer or a talker and I know that that doesn’t work well with certain communication styles. So, I have to moderate my behavior, my natural tendencies, to match the person I’m dealing with and how they like to receive information.

We do a tremendous amount of work on this idea of gaining trust and actually have a class around communicating bad news. I mentioned we have the Brooks Talent Index. I would be happy to provide you with more information for any of these items. Truly, I think that is a tremendous benefit if you do really understand your natural tendencies and you understand the tendencies of the person you’re dealing with.

So, I hope those five things help. We’re finding that trust and being liked are critical topics right now and the idea of building trust is how you’re going to win in this crazy environment. Happy to discuss it. Happy to debate it. Always happy to provide more information. Feel free to reach out to me at gfly@thebrooksgroup.com

Resources:  

    1. Being Liked Doesn’t Win Deals: We’ll Tell You What Does Webinar
    2. BTI Assessments

Written By

Gary Fly

Gary Fly is the President & CEO at The Brooks Group, where he brings 25+ years of senior management experience. In his role as President of The Brooks Group, Gary is applying his keen business insights and energetic management style while extending the success and legacy established by William T. Brooks and his sons, Jeb and Will, honed during the company’s rich, 40-plus-year legacy.
Written By

Gary Fly

Gary Fly is the President & CEO at The Brooks Group, where he brings 25+ years of senior management experience. In his role as President of The Brooks Group, Gary is applying his keen business insights and energetic management style while extending the success and legacy established by William T. Brooks and his sons, Jeb and Will, honed during the company’s rich, 40-plus-year legacy.

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