Connection: Three easy ways to intentionally build trust

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

Just the other day I asked someone how business was going. His response was that all-too-familiar saying: “Business would be great if it wasn’t for the people.” Ouch…

It was a reminder that relationships can be challenging. We don’t always “click” with people, making communication difficult. Yet, sales success rests on finding meaningful ways to connect and build trust with prospects who run the spectrum from being total strangers to people we know very well. It’s not easy, but it can be done!

Here are three things you can do to establish trust quickly and increase your sales results:

1. Be quick to show your respect to others. Many salespeople are taught to act like “the expert,” wanting respect from buyers before they do anything to earn it. When you show respect to others first, and let your expertise flow from that position, it puts people at ease and lays the groundwork for trust. Let them know that you want to hear from them and answer their questions. They’ll reward you for caring enough to understand them before you try to tell them what you know. 

2. Demonstrate shared experience. This can be difficult when you’ve spent little or no time with one another, but it is possible. Here’s how: When a buyer engages with you it is because they perceive that you can help them. Although you may not know the details, the essence of their problem is similar to what you’ve helped others overcome. So, ask questions relative to the common problems that you’ve solved for others. People trust you more because of the questions that you ask, not the information you provide. 

3. Teach using stories. Buyers always want to know, “How good are you, your products/services?” But they follow that question immediately with the real question they want to ask, “Who says so besides you?” Hearing the testimony of a satisfied buyer has a more credible impact than anything we say about ourselves, our company or our offerings. Telling stories about the positive outcome experienced by satisfied buyers with similar problems is another effective way to build trust.

Which of these approaches have you used already? Are there other trust-building strategies that have worked for you?

Also, my “door” is always open for conversation. Let me know if you would like to set up a time to chat about your specific sales questions: