A trusting relationship between a sales executive and a potential purchaser is essential for sales to go ahead. It is one of the reasons why the probability of making a sale to an existing customer is around 70 per cent while converting a new prospect is as low as 5 per cent, according to data from Marketing Metrics. Meanwhile, an old but still very engaging Watson-Wyatt study from 2002 showed the return to shareholders in a high-trust company was 286 per cent higher than in a low-trust business.
If you work in sales, it is in your interest to cultivate a long-term relationship with your clients underpinned by mutual respect and confidence in each other. Here are three top tips for building trust with your clients.
Keep the client at the centre
A customer-oriented approach in sales has been proven to increase trust, securing a higher conversion rate. This is because a buyer who trusts you will give you the info you need to make the sale such as the budget and the decision-making process. They see the salesperson as someone advising them on how to best achieve their desired outcome, rather than someone just trying to push a product. They can see their own needs being met. How do you build trust through customer-centric sales?
- Ask the right questions – make sure their business needs are centre
- Check in regularly – Even if you think they’re happy, it can’t help to ask
- Make sure you offer a personalised experience, getting to know your client and the details that show you are interested in them as people.
Keep up your side of the bargain
A recent Gartner survey showed that 83 per cent of people will not do business with a brand they don’t trust. One of the biggest ways to lose trust is to miss the mark and not meet expectations. Winning trust starts from the first meeting or the moment you answer the phone; you need to embody the brand and be the salesperson your customer expects. But that first meeting isn’t just a piece of performance art – you need to carry on through, following up with them, performing against their own KPIs, making sure you do what you say you will do – or have a bloody good reason not to. So many people think sales is about being a silver tongue, but actually, the key to sales success is in delivery.
Be transparent and connected
There is nowhere to hide in this digital world, it is best to just jump in fully clothed. Connect with your clients and customers across all possible channels. Follow them on Twitter, comment on their LinkedIn posts, and let them know you are sharing their journey. Request feedback, even if you think it might not be too flattering. Own constructive criticism and use your own digital platforms to demonstrate your learning and show improvement. Broadcast your success, but be open about when you don’t get it right too. To er is human and customers like dealing with humans.
Still feel like you need some tips? Try our Sales Performer course, perfect for both new salespeople looking to embed the basics, and experienced sales staff seeking to up their game. Flexible courses with personalised content. Give us a call at +64 9 912 9770 to discuss your needs today.