The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.
Thomas J. Watson
In sales and life, we are all told we must connect.
I have been in sales trainings, where they said the first 5 minutes of a sales call are the most critical. Why? Those minutes will determine, not if the prospect likes your product, …but if they like you.
We all know that people buy from people they like. We have heard that one a thousand times.
That is a lot of pressure.
The “naturals” in the business have an effortless way of weaving in conversations about things they observe in the prospect’s surroundings. The pictures of family, the trophies on the shelves, the roses in the garden. They play “6 Degrees of Separation” (or Kevin Bacon!) trying to connect themselves to the client in a meaningful way.
To give us a better chance of having things to connect with, we join associations, become active in the business community and network…all in an effort to make connecting with others easier and less haphazard. That is not time wasted. One good connection-in-common could be the difference between a prospect and a client. Sales training usually calls this phase of the sales process, Building Rapport.
Before you can demonstrate what the product can do, you have to demonstrate who you are and what difference you bring to the process. There are many others out there vying for the same clients and product differentiation is small. People are the big difference.
That is why I call this vital phase of the sales process, Relating.
It is a matter of building trust. Not the “lifelong friend I can count on through thick and thin”, brand of trust, but transactional trust. Relating is the gateway to that trust. Trust is required to have people spend money with you. If your product costs $1,000, then you must earn $1,000 worth of trust. Face it, people have buying choices that do not involve you.
Like Amazon. People trust Amazon. The question they ask themselves, “Why should I spend this $1,000 with you and not Amazon?”
That is where Relating is very powerful. It is a higher form of trust building than rapport alone – it is a potent mix of building rapport and conveying empathy. Delivered with sincerity and Your Authentic Sales Voice.
Rapport Reveals what is common between people.
Empathy Heals what is separating them.
I will explain more in the next few Crumbs, but on your next sales call, examine what truly creates bonds of trust and facilitates progress in the relationship. I think you will find that…
Rapport Reveals…Empathy Heals.