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Trustworthiness

What are some of the ways to get prospects to trust you? - by Thomas
What are some of the ways to get prospects to trust you?
  1. Be reliable. Do what you say you are going to do.
  2. Be honest. Don't lie, cheat or steal.
  3. Be respectful. Treat others with respect.
- by SpeedRacer
What are some of the ways to get prospects to trust you?
Don't play the part of the untrustworthy salesperson. :gre - by Marcus
What are some of the ways to get prospects to trust you?
Here are 3 common salesperson behaviors that I see regularly, and they all damage efforts to build trust (so this is is more of a "what not to do" list):

- Talk more than you listen
- Don't validate prospect statements or questions before you respond
- Focus on your needs as a salesperson more than the prospect's needs

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
Here are 3 common salesperson behaviors that I see regularly, and they all damage efforts to build trust (so this is is more of a "what not to do" list):

- Talk more than you listen
- Don't validate prospect statements or questions before you respond
- Focus on your needs as a salesperson more than the prospect's needs

The best to you!
How would behaviors #1 and #2 damage efforts to build trust Skip? - by Marcus
How would behaviors #1 and #2 damage efforts to build trust Skip?
Thanks for asking, Marcus.

Salespeople who talk more than they listen give the impression that they care more about themselves more than they care about the prospect. Are you more likely to trust a physician that spends a lot of time asking you questions about your stomach pain, or the one who explains to you the most common cause of stomach pain? My guess is you would choose the doctor who carefully asks you many questions so that he/she can understand your stomach pain.

In my opinion, salespeople who don't validate prospect statements and questions miss an opportunity to develop trust. Many salespeople seem to want to jump in and rebut prospect statements right after they're made (because they think that the number one thing prospects want is information - but the number one thing prospects want is to feel that they can trust the salesperson). If they would just put on the brakes for a couple seconds and say, "I see what you mean, can we talk about that a bit?" before they jump into spewing product knowledge and facts and whatever, they'd have a much better ability to engage with their prospects, and engagement fosters trust.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
Trust is built by having an open dialogue with a prospect from the moment you meet. Before you begin sharing info. about your company, products and services and how you can help, sit and talk for a few moments casually to break the ice. Once you sense a lull you can ask about what has brought you together, how they heard about you and what they know about your company.

Ask a few open-ended questions about what they are hoping to accomplish, what they like/dislike about their current product/service/provider and what they hope to accomplish and what they are looking for in a new product/service/provider (why they might switch if provider already in place).

Then state, that before you begin most prospects like them like to know a little about the process a prospect should go through when considering a purchase of this type and the process that a company should go through to undertand a prospect 's wants and needs and what they can expect from you.

This conversation should include a discussion of wants, needs, goals, money, delivery date desired, decsion makers and when the decision will be made.

Tell the prospect approximately how long this process should take and let them know that they and/or you can feel freee to pull the plug at any time if things don't feel right or make sense.

Let the prospect know and make sure you know where you stand every step of the way.

Prospects feel most salespeople have a hidden agenda and are manipulative. Having open conversations will build a bond or trust, rapport and respect necessary to foster the relationship required to make a sale.

All the best!

Drew Cameron
HVAC Sellutions - by airxprt
Building trust has more to do with what you do than what you say. Prospects and clients aren't stupid. They fully realize that a salesperson can anything. Consequently, actions, as always, speak louder than words.

Do exactly what you say you're going to do exactly when you say you're going to do it

Admit when you or your company are wrong and immediately correct it

when you or your company screw up, admit and fix it without having to be asked

return phone calls in a timely manner; show up on time, every time

don't make excuses; take full responsibility for everything in the sale because as far as your client is concerned, you are responsible--you are the company

If you can't meet the client's needs, say so rather than trying to get a sale at all costs

trust--real trust--is hard to earn and easy to lose.

To get it, you do the same thing you do to earn if from anybody--be trustworthy in action and in word, but remember that your words may give a prospect, client or customer a bit of a warm feeling, but actions are what earn the trust. - by pmccord
Skip, thank you for the compliment. I have enjoyed several of your posts as well as visiting your website.

Paul, I couldn't agree more and should not have been so assuming that a salesperson of character and integrity ALWAYS follows through on his/her word. Your word is your bond and you seal with your actions.

The point I am making is that many salespeople I train and coach just go about their business on a sales call without telling the prospect what to expect, what the they (the salesperson) expect and what is expected of the prospect throughout the sale process.

For example, an HVAC contractor that measures a home and performs a heat loss/heat gain calculation, but fails to explain what he/she is doing, what it is, why he/she is doing, why it is important, what it means to the prospect and how it differentiates the salesperson and company from the competition, has built no value in the process and quite frankly may even build distrust when the next 3 contractors in the door don't perform the same process and use a rule of thumb or size the replacement equipment based on the existing system (both are incorrect methods).

In this example, the actions are on par with proper industry guidelines and that of a true professional, but not explaining it to the customer can create animosity, distrust and certainly provides no value.

So let's agree to say and do what is expected of an honest and trustworthy salesperson or true sales professional.

All the best!

Drew Cameron - by airxprt
What are some of the ways to get prospects to trust you?
Besides what has already been posted testimonials and endorsements from people your prospect trusts are very helpful. Same with guarantees (minimize risk). - by AZBroker
How would you get someone to trust you right away like in the first couple minutes so that they will answer your questions and be honest about it? - by Thomas
How would you get someone to trust you right away like in the first couple minutes so that they will answer your questions and be honest about it?
Thomas, this is a great question and an important one. For what they're worth, here are my answers (my expertise is in consumer sales, so I'll answer it with that basis):

1. Wildly successful salespeople are able to engage prospects in short order. Engagement builds trust.

2. Wildly successful salespeople are likable. This could be any combination of things such as being charismatic, attractive, funny, unique, or having a great smile, etc. The prospect-salesperson relationship is no different than meeting a new potential friend or picking up someone in a bar. Some people are good at making new friends and some aren't, but great salespeople are.

3. Wildly successful salespeople who sell to consumers have an ability to turn the focus quickly to the prospect and away from themselves or their product/service. Since human nature loves sincere attention, this serves as a trust-builder.

I've seen lots of salespeople who were extraordinarily knowledgeable, and helpful, and hard-working, but they were not able to do the three things I listed above, and therefore, they were not high performing salespeople.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
If people don't trust me immediately they're missing something about me they don't get. Because I'm direct and candid and honest in a simple way like minded people reply the same. In less than three minutes I often know important and personal information other people fail to hear.

When you're honest with no other agenda than to understand and hear clearly most people recognize that. When you ask important and direct questions and listen to the answers people also recognize that.

MitchM - by MitchM
When you're honest with no other agenda than to understand and hear clearly most people recognize that. When you ask important and direct questions and listen to the answers people also recognize that.
I wonder if people's fears sometimes blind them to seeing that the salesperson is being attentive and honest. What do you think? :cu - by Mikey
If people don't trust me immediately they're missing something about me they don't get. Because I'm direct and candid and honest in a simple way like minded people reply the same.

MitchM
In my opinion, what is more important than being direct and candid early in the sales relationship is being likable. Not every personality-type likes direct and candid communication, especially in the first three minutes of a sales encounter (in fact, most prospects do not like direct and candid conversations within the first three minutes of a sales encounter), but everybody likes likable people. So my vote is that likable people will develop prospect engagement more often than direct people will.

We all tend to relate best to people who are like-minded. But our biggest challenge as salespeople is to get prospects who are not like-minded to relate to us so we can have a fruitful sales interaction with them.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
Your use of "like minded" is different than mine, Skip. Direct isn't harsh or abrupt and candid is likable and friendly and casual the way I use them.

Is there one kind of likable person? I don't know.

The best of the best to everyone.

MitchM - by MitchM
"I wonder if people's fears sometimes blind them to seeing that the salesperson is being attentive and honest. What do you think?" -- Mickey

I think you are right. There are also othe reasons. I've analyzed that, pegged people into this and that hole then attempted to apply the right balm to butter up the hole and slip them out so that a better conversation attentive and honest both ways opened up.

I don't do that any more - I like relaxing and strolling through life - unless I'm doing my exercise activities - and I'm not confrontational or aggressive or assertive or high powered.

In my ambling way through life I offer people solutions to their expressed needs and if they want to know more we communicate - if not we don't. THAT doesn't exclude repeat offers or sometimes longer communications and time to work out things.

BUT it does mean zero resistance, zero stress, zero struggle and for those who need, want and are willing to pay for what I offer an honest and trustworthy relationship which can begin in just a few minutes - enought time to open mutual doors of need.

That's what I do.

MitchM - by MitchM
Your use of "like minded" is different than mine, Skip.

MitchM
MitchM, what is your definition of "like minded"?

Thanks! - by Skip Anderson
It's contextual, not fixed, Skip.

"If people don't trust me immediately they're missing something about me they don't get. Because I'm direct and candid and honest in a simple way like minded people reply the same. In less than three minutes I often know important and personal information other people fail to hear." - me

In that context, like minded is when the other person responds to my direct and candid and honest in a simple way the same.

I went to a free Chamber networking event a couple of weeks ago and no one did that - the conversations were superficial and had the apperance of what I remember walking into a so called "pick-up" bar decades ago - everyone was looking around and not much focused on conversations, eyes were darting around for maybe this or that "pick-up" connection, and conversation was small talk.

I got great free food and watched an aikido demonstration so I got my money's worth so to speak.

I don't do much small talk or rapport building BUT I am a good listener and enjoy hearing people tell stories in candid and direct, honest and simple ways.

MitchM - by MitchM
I went to a free Chamber networking event a couple of weeks ago . . . the conversations were superficial and had the apperance of what I remember walking into a so called "pick-up" bar decades ago - everyone was looking around and not much focused on conversations, eyes were darting around for maybe this or that "pick-up" connection, and conversation was small talk.
MitchM
MitchM, I certainly agree that superficiality is an enemy to building trust.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
Skip - what does superficality mean to you - can you define it and give an example in a conversational description?

MitchM - by MitchM
Skip - what does superficality mean to you - can you define it and give an example in a conversational description?

MitchM
I like the dictionary definition:
1. Lack of depth of knowledge or thought or feeling
2. Shallowness in terms of affecting only surface layers of something
[superficiality. Dictionary.com. WordNet 3.0. Princeton University. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/superficiality (accessed: October 09, 2007).]

"Many salespeople's effort to identify their prospects' needs and desires only occurs at a level of surface superficiality, thereby leaving important purchasing motivations hidden from the salesperson."

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
1. Wildly successful salespeople are able to engage prospects in short order.

2.
Wildly successful salespeople are likable.

3. Wildly successful salespeople who sell to consumers have an ability to turn the focus quickly to the prospect and away from themselves or their product/service.
These are really good! thmbp2; Thank You! sn;
- by Thomas
I find it hard to trust salespeople who talk about the competition or other customers. Don't criticize, condemn or complain about other people or other companies. - by Marcus
We have developed a propietary process called the Trust and Respect Inquiry, which enables us to determine whether the prospect is someone whom we trust and respect.

The process takes between 12 and 20 minutes. The end results are two objective ratings, on a scale of 1 and 10 (10 is highest); one for trust and the other for respect. If, at that point the prospect is asked to rate the salesperson, there is usually a correlation for each factor, of within five percent, between the salesperson's rating of them and vice versa.

If the prospect scores high on both factors, we continue the sales process knowing that a deep Relationship of Mutual Trust and Respect has been established.

If the prospect scores low on ether trust or respect, we end the sales process and leave. That occurs during about five percent of all sales appointments. - by JacquesWerth
We have developed a propietary process called the Trust and Respect Inquiry, which enables us to determine whether the prospect is someone whom we trust and respect.
Jacques without going into details of the trust and respect inquiry can you describe how you transition from the prospect walking in your doors (initial contact) to participating in the inquiry? - by AZBroker
Is there necessarily a transition or can this activity be seen as a continuous event?

MitchM - by MitchM
Jacques without going into details of the trust and respect inquiry can you describe how you transition from the prospect walking in your doors (initial contact) to participating in the inquiry?
The first question you ask has to be appropriate for the setting and the situation.

If you are a Realtor, you might ask the prospect where he/she lives now? Or, they may have already said something more significant that you can base your first question on.

The next question, and all succeeding questions, must be based on the prospect's answer to the previous questions. Questions that begin with "Why" are introduced. The depth and intensity of the questions are ratcheted up quickly.
Enough said about the process.

It takes about nine hours of training and practice, including role-plays, to begin to master The TRI process. It is highly unlikely that anyone could effectively utilize the process merely by reading about it. However, there are a lot of people who would try. Then, when they failed, some would surely claim that the process doesn't work. - by JacquesWerth
Is there necessarily a transition or can this activity be seen as a continuous event?
MitchM
That's an astute question.

Transitions are usually used to make the salesperson feel comfortable. They seldom have a positive effect on the prospect or do anything to forward the action. Salespeople who need to be in their comfort zone suffer with a serious handicap.

An abrupt change in direction is no problem for most people -if the change is compelling and if it rapidly becomes more and more compelling. That's the way the Trust and Respect Inquiry works. - by JacquesWerth
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