5 Ways to Gain Trust in the Sales Process
Categories: Sales Conversation
A seller’s biggest asset is their ability to articulate value and differentiation in a way that solves their customer’s most pressing business problems. Anything you share beyond what’s relevant to your buyer's business pains is just noise that could lead to you losing to competition altogether (including a do-nothing or do-it-internally decision).
Perhaps in today's sales environment, a buyer's tolerance for noise has continually diminished. The risk of investing in the wrong solution has become amplified with the Covid-19 Pandemic. With tighter buyer budgets and likely more decision makers involved in a purchasing decision, your ability to get buyers to see that you understand their complex business problems and are invested in finding the right solution will play a major role in hitting your numbers. After all, you may have the right solution to achieve a buyer's positive business outcomes, but if you lack the ability to earn trusted advisor status — you can end up losing the deal.
Here are five things you can do right now to repeatedly build business acumen in-front of high-level decision makers during the sales process.
1. Don't Be a Know It All
Two of the most frequent complaints buyers have with sellers are:
- They don’t listen
- They don’t understand their business
When you’re calling on prospects, you as a seller are immediately at a disadvantage. Your potential buyers assume you’re going to waste their time. We call it “The Seller Deficit Disorder”.
Avoid this problem by going in curious.
A seller who goes in thinking he or she knows what the prospect needs will always be seen as just an order-taker, and will never earn trusted advisor status.
Don’t assume you know your buyer’s biggest business challenges, or that this prospect is like your other potential buyers. Don't run with the first challenge you hear either. Ask great questions to dig deeper to ensure you're fully capturing your buyers biggest business problems and the frustrations and challenges associated with them. Going in curious will help you get one step closer to earning trust with your potential buyer. The more you ask questions focused on your buyer, the more they'll see you genuinely care about their business problems, and the better understanding you'll have on how to eventually align those problems to your solutions in a way that's meaningful to your buyer.
2. Understand Your Buyer’s Problems
Remember, there is no value without a customer problem. It’s your job as a seller to:
- Uncover your customer's pain points
- Understand the impact those issues are having on the business
Deals are won and lost on effective discovery. You can’t demonstrate your value if you don’t know the problem your customer is trying to solve. If you want to earn trust, you have to execute effective discovery in a way that will prompt prospects to verbalize their pain and open up opportunities that you can use to demonstrate how you can help.
Helping your prospects define and articulate their own needs will automatically give you better knowledge about that prospect. An effective discovery process creates trust with your prospect because he/she will appreciate your willingness to understand their pain points. It's all about asking the right questions at the right time and not being afraid to ask some of the bolder questions.
3. Help Your Buyer See the Bigger Impact
Your buyers likely have a laundry list of needs, and they want tailored solutions. Help them cross off each bulleted problem by explaining exactly how your product will satisfy each of their critical problems. Be more than just another vendor. Earn trust by helping your prospect see the impact your solution will have on their business. Articulate the value of your solution and tie it directly to their largest business needs. If potential buyers can’t see the tie, your product may seem like more than what they need, meaning they'll stand their ground in negotiations for a discounted price.
Remember, as a seller you are delegated to the person you most sound like. Speak in terms of large business issues, and you will be dealing with higher-ups that have more discretionary income to fund your solution. Even if you can’t get to the key decision maker initially, if you can help your contact show how one purchase can influence a pressing business issue — you’ll earn trust through helping your prospect tackle a critical business challenge.
[Dig deeper on improving your ability to communicate with high-level economic buyers]
4. Be Audible-Ready
Being audible-ready means just like an NFL quarterback, you can adjust quickly. If you’re an audible-ready seller, you can morph the sales conversation based on your buyer needs.
When you start a customer conversation, you don’t always know where the conversation is going to lead. There are several on-ramps to any sale, and you’ll likely have to talk to more than one decision maker. As a seller, your goal is to consistently demonstrate the value of your solution in terms of positive business outcomes. Being audible-ready means you articulate value no matter the person you’re talking to and no matter where they steer the conversation.
Audible-ready sellers speak to prospects in a way that demonstrates their relevancy. That’s why they earn trust. Their conversations are always based on buyer needs, and prospects can clearly see how the seller can impact their business, they earn that coveted trusted advisor status.
5. Show Credibility with Testimonials
Customer testimonials are an asset to any sales conversation. Providing tangible points of reference on how your solution produces the results you promise will strengthen your message. You can talk about how you are better than your competitors all day long, but putting evidence behind those claims helps your potential buyers see the positive business outcomes they can achieve through your solutions. Effective proof points speak to the priorities and the perspective of your customer. They help you earn credibility and trust with your buyer before a close, and they also help you validate solution success when it comes time to capture renewals or increase consumption rates.
Constantly Refine Your Sales Skill Set
Improving your ability to gain buyer trust will takes a concerted effort on refining your sales skills. Make sure you focus on the intricacies of developing better business relationships so you can build valuable relationships with your economic buyers and Champions. We have more resources you can use on enable valuable relationships with champions, in a way that puts you in a solid position to earn referrals and increase account penetration. You can access or most popular resources on enabling champions here.