If you’re working hard, but aren’t consistently generating enough sales and getting referrals, chances are it’s a matter of trust. Suppose you could incorporate a few simple, yet highly effective ideas into your selling process and substantially increase your bottom line? One of the most critically important and yet frequently overlooked aspects of selling is creating a solid foundation of trust and rapport.
I believe that once you have established trust and rapport with your prospect, you actually have the hard part behind you and can anticipate making the sale. It really doesn’t matter how knowledgeable you are about your product line or how many closing techniques you have mastered, unless you earn your prospect’s trust and confidence you are not going to make the sale — period! While there is no approach that will work 100% of the time with every prospect, fortunately there are fundamentals you can use that will help you build trust and rapport quickly. Read on for five key tips.
1. Gain the competitive edge.
There is absolutely no substitute for a positive first impression. Research clearly indicates that we decide in the first few minutes whether we like someone or not. Yes, we also judge a book by its cover. In most cases, your prospect’s first impression of you will be made over the phone or from a voice message you leave. Therefore, it is always a good idea to focus your intention and organize your thoughts by utilizing a phone script instead of shooting from the hip. Here are some suggestions to help you get off on the right foot. Show up on time and be well prepared. Maintain a well-groomed appearance and dress appropriately for your market. And finally, be upbeat and personable without becoming overly familiar.
2. Promote your credibility.
Establish your credentials as an expert in your industry during your initial appointment. When you offer your business card and or company brochure, highlight two or three reasons why you elected to work for your company. Keep your marketing materials looking professional and up-to-date. If you conduct appointments in your office, display your awards and certificates of accomplishment.
3. Use active listening skills.
The quickest way to destroy trust and rapport is to dominate the conversation. Successful salespeople take notes, listen attentively, and avoid the temptation to interrupt, criticize, or argue. To develop and encourage conversation, use open-ended questions to probe the meaning behind your prospect’s statements. Occasionally repeat your prospect’s words verbatim. By restating their key words or phrases you not only clarify communication, but also build rapport.
4. Adjust to your prospect’s temperament style.