By Jeff Beals
When trust exists, you don’t have to “sell” your prospects anything.
Clients believe trusted providers will keep their best interests in mind and provide them with the best products or services for their unique needs. When you achieve a level of trust with someone, deal-making is easy.
Trust facilitates decision making. Trust is what makes business possible. It makes business easier. When trust exists, deal-making is simply more fun, because participants endure far less stress and tension. Huge purchases are still sometimes made verbally and sealed with a handshake when both parties trust each other without reservation. As a salesperson, you can just “feel it” when trust settles into your relationship. That’s a great sign; it tells you that things are progressing toward a likely agreement.
In order to build trust, you must climb the “relationship depth chart.”
At the bottom of the chart is rapport, which leads to the second level—a relationship. After that, trust blossoms, ultimately leading to a sale or a done deal. With each prospective client you meet, start at the bottom of the relationship depth chart and work your way up. You climb the relationship depth chart by listening to your prospects/clients, empathizing with them, learning what they truly value and getting to know important people in their lives.
The relationship depth chart is sequential and therefore must be followed in exact order. First, seek to establish rapport. This simply means that after acquaintance is made, mutual affection exists between two people—I like you, and you like me. We have found some commonality and our personalities jibe. Once rapport is in place, you can proceed to a relationship, which is a deeper commonality that implies a longer-term friendship, mutual respect, empathy and loyalty. When two people have a healthy interpersonal relationship between them, they tend to enjoy reciprocating—that is, giving each other items of value and doing nice deeds for one another.
Once the relationship is firmly in place, you will probably encounter a “moment of truth,” an opportunity to prove your loyalty in the relationship. If you hand this moment of truth properly, trust springs forth naturally. The stronger that trust, and the longer it has been in place, the more likely the two parties—buyer and seller— can come to a deal. Strong levels of trust lead to enduring business relationships, which can be almost impossible for a competitor to break.
Constantly climb the relationship depth chart with everyone you encounter. Wherever you are with any given person at any given time on the depth chart, the focus is only on advancing to the next highest rung. Your goal is to move every prospect to the top of the chart, but focus on one step at a time. In other words, you’re unlikely to have trust if you skip the relationship part. You’re unlikely to sign a deal when you haven’t passed the rapport stage.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (402) 637-9300.
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