I read an article this week by sales guru Jeff Shore about how top-producing salespeople can still have an enjoyable personal life. One of his pieces of advice was “be grocery-store worthy.”
This is what Shore wrote:
“Be the type of salesperson that if you ran into one of your buyers in the grocery store, you wouldn’t have to hide behind the cereals. You should be able to see one of your buyers, wave hello and even yell out ‘hey, how’s the new purchase treating you?’”
Shore goes on to say, “The best way to be grocery-store worthy is to be 100 percent truthful and transparent with all your buyers. Do your best to understand them and help them – even if that means sometimes not making the sale.”
So basically, we’re talking about ethics here. Sadly, selling professions don’t always have the best reputation for ethics. But research indicates that ethical sales practitioners end up making more money (in the long run) than unethical sales reps. They also head off potential trouble and are less likely to be fired. Behaving ethically in no way makes you a weaker sales rep. It makes you a good one.
Other than ethical behavior, here are a few other things that will make you grocery-story worthy:
Detailed and timely communication removes suspicions and reassures clients. Be truthful and don’t procrastinate when you need to tell prospects things they don’t want to hear. Remember that bad news does not improve with age.
Another important part of communication is to say you are sorry when appropriate. It’s amazing how much an earnest and sincere apology can boost trust.
Moment of Truth
At some point in any given relationship, you will encounter a moment of truth, a time in which you will be faced with an important decision. How you decide to act determines if you “pass” the moment of truth. If you do pass it, you build trust. Fail it and the relationship could be irreparably damaged.
What are some moment-of-truth examples? When it’s tempting to lie but you tell the truth. When you have a choice to do something in your interest or your client’s interest and you choose the client’s. When you go the extra mile to help clients achieve their goals. When you screw up and do everything in your power to fix the situation.
Every time you pass a moment of truth, no matter how small, trust becomes at least a little deeper.
Predictability & Consistency
People trust other people whose behavior is predictable. If you’re the type of person who responds to challenges in a consistently professional manner, you come across as trustworthy.
The best predictor of a person’s future actions is frequent past behavior. If you consistently establish frequent past behavior that is trustworthy, it will be much easier for you to be trusted in the future.
Because technology, people have become accustomed to getting any desired information immediately. That means we have to be ultra responsive to our prospects and current customers.
With so much information immediately available at our fingertips, we now view slow communicators as “untrustworthy.” It’s almost as if people think you’re incompetent or perhaps hiding something if you take too long. Speed is now equated with trust.
Those sales pros who put their clients’ best interest first, become incredibly valuable to those clients. Not only is that good for personal gain, it helps improve the reputation of our entire profession.
As the old saying goes, “Client Before Commission!”