Can I trust you? It’s the million-dollar question being asked by a prospect when meeting with a salesperson for the first time. Prospects have questions about the salesperson’s motives because they know most sales professionals are compensated for closing business. Many prospects wonder:
Is the salesperson just after that nice big commission check or are they genuinely interested in solving my problems?
If a salesperson doesn’t demonstrate the right motives, the right intent, there won’t be a second meeting. Prospects buy from people they trust. Building trust requires emotional intelligence and a key EQ skill for building trust is self-awareness.
Without self-awareness, salespeople can become self-focused, self-centered. It becomes all about meeting their goals and earning recognition. They forget to focus on the prospect and their goals---which are really the only ones that matter.
Being other focused builds trust, leads to more sales and repeat business.
The fix. Give your sales team permission to tell prospects your solution isn’t the best fit. Don’t be the sales leader that measures success only by closed business. Be the sales leader that measures success by encouraging your team to close business with prospects where your solution transforms their business instead of just doing business.
Teach and remind your sales team that not every prospect is a fit. They may not ever be a fit or it's simply not the right time to do business.
A great example of the power of trust comes from a retired colleague of mine. He provided strategic management consulting to professional services firms. And he often had prospects who were eager to work with him, however, he would decline the engagement by demonstrating the integrity and the right motive.
“It would be easy to take your money. And I like money. However, you aren’t quite ready for me to come in and make a difference. Here’s the three things you need to have in place before I can help make a significant impact on your business.”
Do you think his prospects had any doubt on his motive, his intent, his integrity?
His actions showed that he was genuinely focused on helping them achieve THEIR goals, not HIS goals.
He built trust which also built a successful business because serious prospects would implement his advice and follow-up with him six months, one year or two years later.
Dr. Henry Cloud, author of the book “Trust” does a great job of describing the connection between motive and trust.
Can I trust you? A question every sales professional must be able to answer in order to build their business.