Thanks to Neil Rackham, founder and president of Huthwaite and author of Spin Selling.
Consistent with The Integrity Chain (http://wp.me/pYHt6-2C), Mr. Rackham notes that trust is the key ingredient in value-added selling.
Customers, clients, prospects and voters are bombarded with so much conflicting and contradictory information, the element of trust is critical to value-added selling.
You usually gain trust in small steps over time. These steps are typically the result of doing something of value for the customer beyond the sales transaction.
Here are five ways to build trust:
- Invest the time necessary to understand your customer completely. Customers who feel understood usually trust more. By involving yourself more deeply in your customer’s business, you’ll also become indispensable.
- Be consistent. Earning trust is a time-consuming process that progresses as you deliver value consistently over time. Customers accept value promises from salespeople they trust.
- Listen more, talk less. Talking does not build trust, but listening may. Customers trust salespeople who listen to what they have to say, especially when it comes to needs and expectations. Listening also results in a better understanding of your customer (see #1 above).
- Establish common ground and become more familiar to customers. Customers trust what is familiar to them. Value-added salespeople try to establish common ground for dialogue when they meet with prospects or customers.
- Provide greater responsiveness to customer problems. Responsiveness is a critical component of value with today’s customer. Saving the customer time and providing the answers to problems are essential for value-added selling. This is one reason why first call resolution is so important.
My personal philosophy is you earn customers’ trust by “doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it.”
This will differentiate you from 99% of the other people with whom your customer is working and generate a high level of trust over time.
How do you build trust with your customers?