TRUST. It can be defined as when a person is willing to rely on the actions of another even though the outcome may not be certain.
We have a natural desire to trust people and it is the basis upon which we build our relationships. In the past many confidence tricksters, masquerading as salespeople have abused this natural desire. As a result, salespeople are often districted by customers.
In psychology, trust is believing that the person who is trusted will do what is expected. If this doesn’t happen we stop trusting that person, or that group. In fact we often distrust behaviour if we associate it with an unexpected outcome. Hence, selling has a trust problem.
As mentioned previously, I have, in the past, worked as a trauma counsellor and psychotherapist. Having the client’s trust is vital. Without it, the client will not feel secure enough with you to confront their issues and find a resolution through your facilitation.
One of the important things that you learn when going through the person centred facilitation training is that you have to accept that the client should be allowed to look at whatever they want to look at. In other words, you have to first trust the client.
Interestingly, the same could be said of salespeople.
I am sure you would all agree with me if I said that it is extremely important that the customer trusts the salesperson. If the customer doesn’t trust the seller, there is little or no chance that a purchase will happen.
Whilst I agree with this, I would say that it is only the SECOND most important trust issue in the seller/ customer relationship.
What is the first? I’d say that the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of trust in sales is not that the customer trusts the salesperson, instead it is that the salesperson trusts the customer.
Sounds crazy? Let me explain.
Our relationships with everyone around are based on trust. People in our lives that act in a manner that we expect and like are trusted. Those that act erratically are less trusted and generally, less liked.
How do you feel if you meet someone and it becomes obvious to you that they DO NOT trust you? Do you feel guarded and on the defensive? Do you ask yourself, ‘why does this person not trust me?’ and be more guarded with them because of this? If someone does not trust you, do you trust them?
Generally, if someone we meet doesn’t trust us, we will be much more guarded with them. Conversely, if someone opens up to us, shows us that they trust us, we feel important, valued and will be much more likely to trust them in return.
Can you see where this is going?
Psychologically speaking, do you know what the number one method to make people like you is?
Let me answer this, as I do so often, with a question. If someone you meet for the first time clearly likes you, how do you feel about it? Are you more likely or less likely to like them in return?
I’m a friendly chap, I’m friendly and affable with everyone I meet. People are generally friendly and affable with me. I spend my life meeting new people all the time and I make every effort to like them with the happy result that in most cases people like me as well. In my business, this is very handy, I can tell you. However, it’s not an accident that people like me. It’s a direct result of my desire and intention to like them first that opens up the potential for people to like me.
Put it this way, how do you respond to somebody that doesn’t like you? Are you more guarded and on the defensive? Of course you are, it’s only natural to feel that way.
Without making this a major work on social engineering, you can see that if people like us we are more likely to like them. So, in answer to my question, what is the number one way to get people to like you, the answer is simply this: LIKE THEM FIRST!
In other words if your attitude is to initially like people, you will have more people like you in return.
If your attitude is to be wary of people, guess what? Yes, you guessed it, people will be wary of you in return.
Trust reacts in exactly the same way. If we are distrustful of people, they will distrust us and if we are more trusting, we will, in turn receive more trust.
So, back to salespeople. Do they trust their customers?
I have a theory, borne out of many hundreds of delegate conversations, that many salespeople simply DO NOT TRUST THEIR CUSTOMERS.
Easy to understand, if you make 100 attempts to sell and get success less than one in ten, no wonder you lose faith and expect a negative result. This in turn reduces your trust that any customer will say yes and so the circle of mistrust continues.
If you consider that many salespeople are probably using outdated scripts, using ineffective selling techniques by try to hard sell or push the message down the throats of the customer, is it any wonder that they are getting so much rejection?
So, if the salesperson is expecting resistance and rejection, will they be expecting/ trusting the customer to buy?
If you talk to a customer and you don’t trust or believe them, how will this affect how they view you? Do you think if you don’t trust them, they won’t be so quick to trust you?
Here, at last, is one of the key difficulties for most salespeople. They start off energised and excited by the product, they’ve had training, They don’t expect customers to buy. They lose faith in the product, service, themselves and the customer, they lose faith in the whole process. They become hardened and just bang out the calls hoping that with enough activity some people will buy.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
It can be easier.
When I take people through my sales programme, they find a new way of talking to customers, an easier, more friendly and more effective way of talking to the customer which in turn, allows the customer to have a better sales experience.
I call it customer centred selling and it means that the salesperson starts off by trusting in the customer. The customer reciprocates and a seller/ buyer relationship is established far quicker than it might be otherwise. If you’d like to find out more, drop me a line…..
Trust your customer, it pays to do so!