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The Importance of Trust in Sales

Trust is important. If prospective customers and clients trust you, you’re more likely to have smoother and more productive conversation with them, which can ultimately lead to your customer choosing your services or business.

In a recent survey conducted by HubSpot, only 3% of prospects said they trust sales reps. In addition, 55% of customers no longer trust companies as much as they used to.

But why is trust in sales staff so low?  For some, the sales name gets a bad rep due to customer’s past experiences of pushiness or dishonesty.

In this article, we’ve highlighted the importance of trust in sales and outlined steps you can take to rebuild trust. 

How to Build Rapport

Building rapport with your customers is the easiest and most powerful way to build their trust. If you focus on taking personal interest rather than making a sale, you’re likely to experience smoother and more honest communication.

Prospects who feel a personal connection are more likely to believe in your product and, therefore, make a purchase. Be friendly, strike up a conversation, talk about their day, ask them how they’ve been, and even find out what their interests are to build that connection. 

Making them feel like you’re trying to sell something can push them away. The goal is to make them feel like you’re helping them. The best salespeople don’t push to sell. Instead, they take the time to listen and understand their customer’s needs, then help to find a solution.

Once you’ve built rapport with your customer, you’re already halfway there.

Four young adults laughing and chatting over a coffee

Tips for Better Body Language

If you don’t sound like you’re confident in what you’re selling, then how can you expect others to have confidence in it? For example, when we’re jumpy and nervous, it will make the customer uncertain and anxious. In contrast, when we stand solidly, keep a calm manner, and talk confidently, it in turn instils confidence in your customer.

Confidence isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, but it is an important skill and one that can be learned over time. If you struggle with confidence, here are a few steps you can take to make yourself appear more confident: 

  • Speak slowly and with purpose.
  • Maintain eye contact when speaking face-to-face. This non-verbal communication can immediately build trust.
  • Smile and nod when your customer is speaking, showing them you’re listening carefully and understanding.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to them as if they’re a good friend. Using any rapport you have will solidify their trust in you.

One experiment showed that genuine smiles strongly influenced people’s opinions on who to trust. This was opposed to ‘unconvincing’ or ‘fake’ smiles! Offering a genuine smile and open body language can go a long way when speaking to prospects.

Show Them Their Money’s Going to Good Use

People want to know they’re receiving something of value when they part with their hard-earned money. How does this play a part in the importance of trust in sales?

As an example, think about the little girl who stands out in her front yard selling lemonade or cookies. Why is it that almost every passer-by will buy from her?

A large part of the reason is that the little girl has spent years in her community, and has built trust. Neighbours and passers-by who are buying from her have faith that their money is going to a good cause (or, at least, a good person!).

Likewise, customers want to believe their money is going toward something worthwhile. Whether it’s a cause, a product, or an investment; You’re far more likely to succeed in the sale if you show that it’s beneficial.  

A sign reading 'fresh lemonade sold here' with a pile of lemons in front of it

Maintain Trust

Trust can take months or even years to develop, but it can be lost in seconds. Once you have established the trust, it is important to maintain it. One of the easiest ways to maintain trust is to do what you say you are going to do – and never promise something you cannot deliver. Always make sure you stand by your word, and admit when you’ve made a mistake. People admire and respect someone who is honest and isn’t afraid to take responsibility for their actions. To do this, keeping open communication with your customer is important in maintaining trust. 

To succeed in sales, you need to be reliable, dependable, and above all, honest. Having a reputation as a trustworthy salesperson will help you to maintain a long business relationship with your customers, and potentially even bring you more sales through recommendation. 

As with all of this, it’s a learning process. But just by keeping these steps in mind, you are already setting yourself up for success. 

Takeaways

Build rapport with the customer before going in for the hard sell.

  • Be confident and work on your body language.
  • Be honest and don’t promise things you can’t deliver.
  • Work on maintaining the relationship even after a sale

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