Building rapport and gaining trust is the first critical step in every successful sales system.
There are 5 steps to gaining trust and reducing sales resistance. Think of each of these steps as 10 points on a thermometer that goes up as you warm your prospects.
Step 1 – Appropriateness
The clothing you and your team wear is a perfect example of this. It’s part of how the conduct of yourself and your business is portrayed.
Your total personal profile, including clothes, body language and conversation style, should be in sync with your prospect’s perception of what you should be.
Another essential part of this section is being reliable, which means you must be on time. If you can’t turn up on time for a sales call or appointment, what sort of service do you think your prospect is envisaging you delivering?
You’ll also be judged harshly in the trust stakes if you don’t give them your full attention. So make sure to turn your mobile to silent or leave it in the car and return calls when you are finished!
There is nothing worse than getting them hooked, keen to hear more, getting ready to buy, and then have the buying mood interrupted by your mobile. Don’t put any barriers in the way of them wanting to buy from you!
Step 2 – Statement of Intention
Put your prospects at ease by letting them know what you’re going to go through in your meeting. This also alleviates any perceived pressure for them.
In this, you are letting them know that your product or service may not be for them. It allows them to realise upfront that you won’t be using any high-pressure sales tactics.
An example of how these two sections can be combined is:
“John, if you don’t mind, I’d like to begin by telling you a little about our (product or service) and how it may help you in your business. Then we’ll discuss your particular needs so we can work together to narrow down exactly what you’re looking for. Like the features and size you need so you can feel comfortable that you will soon be enjoying the same benefits as many others in your area.
You may or may not be aware that we serve a large percentage of the businesses in this area. If you talk to any of our happy clients, you’ll also know that we don’t pressure people into making buying decisions. We simply help you to find what you’re looking for and only ask that you be open to considering the recommendations we make based on what you tell us your needs are. Does that sound fair?”
Now if you’re opening sales pitch was something like that, do you think that you’ve just taken all the pressure out of the situation for your potential customer?
You’ve told them what you plan to go through and also asked for their agreement and permission. Fear of sales pressure has now been eliminated in your prospect’s mind!
Step 3 – Commonality
People buy from people they like and trust, and you can find common ground with anybody if you look hard enough. Family, weather, sports, hobbies or current events are natural choices. However, it is generally best to avoid religion and politics as topics to find common ground on.
If for some reason you can’t find common ground… create some!
The key is to listen to how they answer you and then ask intelligent questions that build rapport, establish commonality or move smoothly to the next stage of your presentation.
If your customer seems interested in a topic you know nothing about, admit your lack of knowledge and start asking questions to learn about the topic from him or her. As long as you are sincere, your prospect will be flattered by your attention, conversation flows and commonality is established!
Step 4 – Credibility
You can enhance your credibility by having and doing several simple things such as:
- Documented articles from respected publications
- Letters of endorsement or testimonials from satisfied customers
- Positive word of mouth
- Being known for delivering more than people expected
Even if you sell a popular product such as Coca-Cola, your credibility will impact on whether you close the sale or not.
Awards are great for reinforcing your credibility. If you have a picture of you accepting an award and mention it in your process as a benefit to them. That way they can feel confident in your services as you’ve recently been presented with an award. After all, you wouldn’t have gotten the distinction if you were a dodgy company now would you?
Step 5 – Competency
The last step to building trust is competency. Now if you’ve been successful in the previous 4 steps, your skills will be automatically accepted unless you do something to make them question it. A potential client must be convinced of your competency before you can earn their complete trust.
Your body language will also play a significant role in portraying your capability. This includes your walk, your gestures and mannerisms, will all play a part in how confident your potential customer feels about choosing to deal with you and your business.
Once you have all 5 of these elements happening, you’ve successfully reduced their resistance to buying from you by a massive 50%!
If you’re not sure where to start in your business, book in for a quick chat with me by clicking here and I’ll be glad to help.