Last week I asked a group of salespeople, managers and directors a question before starting a two-hour program on new business acquisition. I asked them, ”What is the one thing you need to do that will generate more business for you and retain those customers more than anything else?”
What do you think they said? Some said increasing sales activity. Some said tenacity and some said believing in your product. All good answers but not the one I was looking for that was omnipotent.
The answer I was looking for was the ability to build trust with your prospects and customers. The ability to have people like you, trust you and respect the knowledge you bring to the table.
Trust is what makes people feel comfortable doing business with you. It makes them feel like the decision they make will not come back to haunt them later. How do you build trust? Here are five key points to keep in mind—and I will use trust as an acronym:
T…stands for Truth. Sometimes we think the truth will kill a deal because we don’t want to tell the customer the “real” delivery date because they might not order. We have to see that they might not ever order again! Realize it’s better to lose the battle and win the war.
R…stands for Reliability. How fast do you respond? When the customer asks for specific product information, do they get what they need and if it has to be mailed is it sent out on time?
U…stands for Understanding. How much listening do you do prior to your recommendation? Do you ask questions that allow the prospect to give you a big overview of their situation? Do you also ask detailed questions to focus in on their hot buttons? We need to learn to listen and listen to learn.
S…stands for Service. Doing the little things makes a big difference. Following up with the customer with additional information that could help them make a better decision shows your service to sell value. Sending handwritten thank-you notes after the sale with a small gift that relates to something you found out about that unique customer shows you appreciate their business. Our rewards in life are in direct proportion to our service.
T…stands for Truth. From beginning to end it’s what keeps the relationship together. One small lie can ruin 16 years of trust. Your actions need to demonstrate your commitment to that customer so they see past lip service. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying.”
This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business, Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.