Selling fundamentally involves convincing someone you do not know to trust you enough to give you money. It is easy to understand the difficulty of this on a personal level. Think of the people you would be willing to give $100. I imagine the list is pretty short: perhaps a few close friends and family members. How about $1000? $10,000? $100,000? Are your family members and closest friends still on the list?
If you can’t imagine giving a large sum of money to someone you know well and trust, how can you expect a customer who barely knows you to give you their money?
Selling effectively involves communicating trust. Many people fail to take the time to build and communicate trust with potential customers. That is why they have difficulty selling.
Build trust first, communicate that trust, then sell. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Build a network of trustworthy partners. If people trust your partners, they will likely transfer that trust to you when your partners refer you to them.
2. Be responsible. Deliver on all of your promises. Show up on time. Present yourself in a professional manner. Dress appropriately. Don’t do anything weird. This is important both before and after the sale.
3. Say “thank you.” If someone does something for you, thank them. Even if they do something that they are required to do, say thank you. You are in business because of them. Thank them. Gratitude builds trust.
4. Find ways to connect with your potential customers that do not involve selling. Sponsor a charity event. Donate some of your time. Offer a free service. Network. We are often approached by potential customers seeking services we do not offer. We often help these companies find providers who can help because we know this will help us build trust.
5. Ask for help. Our existing customers have been critical to our success in gaining new ones. They have taken time out of their busy schedules to talk to new customers on our behalf. We still had to ask for their help. They helped us because they trusted us.
Build trust, communicate trust, sell. Easy as 1-2-3.