What’s the biggest hurdle you face when selling to someone? Well, other than getting their initial attention and time in front of them, your biggest hurdle is building credibility and ultimately trust.
Trust isn’t cheap. Credibility can’t be faked. And honestly, many buyers put you at arm’s length at the beginning of your relationship because they KNOW you’re trying to sell them something and that ultimately benefits YOU.
So how can you build trust and credibility quicker?
Be a Conduit and a Connector: BE HELPFUL to prospects, buyers, and customers.
For sales pros, this is usually a natural personality characteristic:
- Sellers are problem solvers.
- Sellers are proactive.
- Sellers connect the dots.
Great sellers are “givers” and whether someone has purchased from you, you’re interviewing for a new sales position, or you’re talking to a long-standing customer – great salespeople continue to be relevant and give to their clients.
I’m not talking about dropping off donuts.
I’m not talking about handing over tickets to a game.
And I’m not just talking about “Hey girl, what color is that nail polish,” or “Hey man, I just bought this great putter.”
What can you GIVE to your customers or prospects?
Be a CONDUIT – bringing information, education, tools, and insights to your customers and their businesses.
Be a CONNECTOR – bridging prospects to people to help improve their business: candidates, consultants, colleagues, et cetera.
For example, several years ago, I sent an introduction video to a referral prospect explaining how I understand the nature of her business in the context of our experience. I also mentioned that this video tool would be excellent for her sales team to use and that I could get them up and running on this tool for a competitive advantage. She responded very quickly and was intrigued and excited about what I could teach her team (buying signals! Woohoo!)
I then set up a video meeting with a tool she hadn’t used before and I told her I would show her how this resource could help her have effective and consistent meetings with her sales managers.
I’ve not tried to sell her a single thing yet and she is already, “Intrigued and Excited” – her words – about what I can bring to her team.
Trust and Credibility – we’re off to a GREAT start and she’s giving me excellent signals that she wants our services.
Other examples of being a conduit and a connector to clients over the years have been –
- Making referrals for potential employees
- Sending prospects info on great conferences to attend
- Bringing in other training experts
- Recommending great books
- Introducing prospects to colleagues in similar industries with similar problems
- And back in the day, I introduced hundreds of my prospects and customers to LinkedIn and taught them how to use it for their business.
LinkedIn – yeah, that was WAY back in the day but it could be the newest technology, tool, program, or person that creates meaningful results for customers.
Give helpful or resourceful value to your prospects in your sales process BEFORE you make any asks. These are also great touch points for your follow-up process. Continue delivering value during your sales process and when they’re customers and you’ll build rockin’ solid relationships that make you nearly bulletproof when it comes to competitors.
There are dozens of ways you can connect people and resources to your customers if you continue to look for ways to be helpful and giving.
I love to say this – SELLING is the first place you have to offer value to your customers. That’s what makes selling a noble and honorable profession.
Be a GIVER, not a taker. Be a Conduit and Connector for your prospects and customers.
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!