Ever get the feeling that prospects don’t trust you? That they’re skeptical about meeting with you or don’t believe the claims you make about your offerings? Here are five reasons prospects may be a bit leery:

1. Money down the drain. When I worked in the corporate world, one of my bosses spent a ton of money on a training program that eventually turned out to be a complete waste of money. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation. Many people end up buying a solution that doesn’t work for their businesses. One of my clients once lamented that he had invested six figures in a system that he ended up scrapping and replacing just a few years later.

2. Once bitten, twice shy. This is one of the most common complaints I hear when I speak with executives and senior decision-makers. They have been convinced too many times to take a meeting only to discover that the product or service has no relevance to their business or that the salesperson was less than truthful during their initial conversation. As a result, they are more cautious about accepting appointments with people they don’t know.

3. Personality clash. I’m an expressive individual, which means I have a tendency to talk a lot and tell stories during sales calls and meetings. This is OK if I’m speaking with someone who has a similar personality. However, if my prospect is a risk-averse, highly analytical individual my approach will do little to instill confidence. If I want to be effective in these situations, I need to tone down my presentation and focus on facts, figures and data. Plus, I also need to limit my gestures and act with restraint if I want my prospect to trust me.

4. Blah, blah, blah. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, it is becoming more difficult to stand out from the competition. Your prospects and key decision-makers receive dozens of sales calls and emails every day. Unfortunately, most of these calls and emails sound and look the same:

“Mr. Decision-maker, it’s Bob Prospector calling and I wanted to take a moment to tell you about our company. We’re leading-edge providers of…”

If you want to capture your prospects’ attention (and trust) you need to show how you’re different. You need to demonstrate that you might have a solution to a problem they are facing. You need to give them a reason to return your call and/or meet with you.

5. Study time. Before you contact a prospect, it is essential that you do some homework. I know you have heard me say this before but it is still something that many salespeople don’t do. Doing some preliminary research can help you discover if your offering is applicable to a given company, and it can help you better position your solution. You don’t need to spend hour upon hour researching a prospect, but 15 to 30 minutes can give you insights that will help you present your value proposition.

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