Your prospect has to buy you before he can buy from you. Likability helps, but isn’t key. Sure, if you’re a nice guy I’m more likely to buy my cup of coffee from you in the morning, but if I have to make a significant investment likability isn’t enough. I have to trust you. I have to be able to trust you with my money and I have to trust that you can solve my problem. If I cannot trust you, how can I buy from you?
Winning someone’s trust is never straightforward. Although being perceived as being trustworthy does come naturally to some, it doesn’t come naturally to most people at all. These are my five must do’s to make you come across as trustworthy as you can possibly be.
1. Be Mr Confident
Confidence is key. I’ve seen leading industry experts stumble over their own words in important presentations to potential investors, but the people that close the deal are always the confident one’s. If you are unable to express yourself, how can you communicate your trustworthiness? If you don’t show confidence in yourself, how can your prospect have confidence in you? Delivering your pitch with confidence is crucial to closing a deal.
Confidence is merely a matter of experience and preparation. The more times you deliver a pitch, the more comfortable you will feel doing it. The more you practice your presentation, the better you will know it and the more confident you will sound when it matters.
2. Be Mr Expert
Who am I going to trust with my money? Who am I going to trust when it comes to solving my problem? The person who has all the answers, that’s who!
Know your market inside out, know your product inside out. Makes sure you’re up to date on all the latest developments and when someone asks a question, make sure you have the answer ready.
People don’t like surprises either, explain very carefully what they can expect and what not to expect. A true expert thinks of everything!
3. Be Mr Honest
We have a saying in Holland: “honesty lasts longest,” and that is definitely applicable in sales. People really do have a built-in bullshit detector which subconsciously tells them when someone is lying, especially when they are about to part with their money. If you don’t know the answer to a question just say you will find out for them, but never make something up.
The prime reason of course is that lying doesn’t get you anywhere. It isn’t right to treat people that way, and if someone finds out you have been lying you may end up in a lot of trouble. On the other hand, if you tell the truth in a situation where you could have easily lied, people will recognise it and remember you for future purchases.
4. Be a good listener
If you aren’t listening to your prospect, you’re unlikely to close the sale. Not just because you may miss vital information that may help you win their business, but also because it won’t make you look very good. After all, how can you trust someone who doesn’t even listen to you?
Show genuine interest in people and give them your full attention to gain their trust. Show that you have been listening by asking questions and repeating their questions.
5. Go the extra mile
Help your prospects out as much as you can, without asking something in return. It can take time to gain someone’s trust and sometimes you have to make a real effort to prove that you’re worthy of their trust, by going the extra mile for them.
Keep in mind, you have to earn someone’s trust, it doesn’t come easily. So prove that you’re trustworthy by acting trustworthy all the time.