How To Go Beyond Being A Salesperson (And Why It’s Important)
Trust — it never goes out of style.
Imagine this. You’re in a mall and you need to find a cafe to do some work in until your next meeting. Do you go to a cafe that you know has a reliable internet connection OR do you go to a cafe that you’re unfamiliar with and risk paying for a drink to get sh*t WiFi or no WiFi at all? Unless you didn’t need WiFi in the first place, you would’ve chosen the first option.
Decision-making becomes so much easier when you are presented with buying things of the same nature from two different business owners. Why? Because you only need to choose from the business owner that you feel is more reliable — in other words, you feel like you can trust them.
In this 4-minute read, I’ll share:
- Insights on why it’s important to build rapport and establish trust with your buyers.
- Tips on how to transition from being just a salesperson to being a salesperson that can be trusted.
This post is not only great for someone that’s starting their career in sales but also anyone that wants to maintain long-lasting relationships. Why? Because trust is the gold standard for any relationship — be it personal or professional — in any day and age.
In the professional world, when parting with their money, buyers need to trust that you will act with integrity and their best interests in mind. They need to feel that they are in good hands.
“How trustworthy are you?”
The answer to that question becomes a metric to judge whether someone will find you reliable in the future, whether buyers will embrace new products & services from you, and whether they will be advocates or ambassadors of your brand. Making trust your number one priority isn’t just about being a good person, it’s also good for business.
Here are some facts on why trust is important in business:
- Only 5% of buyers find salespeople trustworthy. Sales and marketing are among two of the least trusted professions — only above stockbrokers, car salesmen, politicians, and lobbyists. [Hubspot. (2018). The Hard Truth About Acquisition Costs (and How Your Customers Can Save You).]
- 95% of customers are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust. [Salesforce. (2018). Managing the Customer Trust Crisis: New Research Insights.]
- 93% of customers are more likely to recommend a company they trust. [Salesforce. (2018). Managing the Customer Trust Crisis: New Research Insights.]
- 92% are more likely to purchase additional products and services from trusted businesses. [Salesforce. (2018). Managing the Customer Trust Crisis: New Research Insights.]
- 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know. Making them the most influential form of advertising. [Nielsen. (2013). Global Survey of Trust in Advertising.]
- People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. [Nielsen. (2013). Global Survey of Trust in Advertising.]
- Referred customers are about 18% more likely to stay rather than other customers. [University of Pennsylvania, Wharton. (2010). ‘Turning Social Capital into Economic Capital’: Straight Talk about Word-of-mouth Marketing.]
Now that we’ve established the importance of trust, how can you ensure that people see you as trustworthy? Here are six fundamental concepts for you to start with:
- Believe in yourself and what you’re selling. Have you ever been sold something by someone that didn’t inspire confidence? You end up questioning whether you should buy from them. Being confident is not only in what you say but also what you don’t say — your non-verbal cues (see: body language) — so that your buyer can feel confident in putting their trust in you.
- Be knowledgeable. This means doing your homework on your buyer, their business, your solutions, and the industry. By being well-informed, you become capable of sharing your knowledge and educating a buyer to make decisions that will benefit them. When you position yourself a consultant or a trusted advisor, buyers will be more likely to put their good faith in you because you add value to them.
- Find a shared connection. We trust people that we like and we like people that share commonalities with us. When you meet someone new and they seem tense or unfriendly, try to find points of shared experiences, opinions, or even a shared sense of humour to break the ice and build rapport. When someone has warmed up to you, it becomes easier to sell to them.
- Don’t make empty promises. This also means, don’t lie by omission. Never guarantee a buyer that your product or service can do something that it can’t. Empty promises are lies and nobody trusts liars. Period. Lying by omission is also bad for future business so don’t do it because it will eventually bite you back in the a**.
- Be accountable and don’t pretend to have all the answers. It’s okay to make mistakes and not have all the answers. It just means that you’re human (and relatable). As long as you genuinely take responsibility and right your wrongs, your authenticity will help your buyers in trusting you with their businesses, especially, for the long-term.
- Be consistent. Being trustworthy is not a one-off task to check off your list. It is a value that should be ingrained in your daily habits. Build trust in your behaviour and people will naturally feel that they can trust you. In the words of Carl W. Buehner,
“They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
And that’s it for the fundamentals! Go forth and make people feel like they can trust you. Go beyond being a salesperson and be a (sales)person that can be trusted.
If you have any actionable advice that can build upon the fundamentals mentioned above, I’d love to hear your thoughts.