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Sales conversations should start by building trust.
One great way to do this is to use stories to develop an authentic, human connection.
But first, let’s look at what’s foundational to selling.
This may sound like sales 101 but how often do you actually put yourself in your buyer’s shoes?
If you were to reflect on what’s important to you when considering buying a product or service, you would mostly likely feel that:
Simply said – if you can’t build trust, you can’t sell.
Personally, I am a tough customer. Mostly because I’ve spent my entire career in sales. I have clear expectations of what value should be delivered, and at what stages. If it is not, I know the lever I have to pull to get what I want. However, if I don’t feel I can trust the person, you can bet I’ll end the relationship pretty quickly.
Trust building is even more important now in our new normal
With the amount of competition in the modern selling environment, coupled with a pandemic, the online noise is loud. And, in some cases, it is just that – noise.
How do we get our own voice and message heard by the right people?
By becoming the salesperson you’d like to buy from. And here’s how.
Make the connection real and relevant
How can you connect the dots and share them with someone who would find it relevant and applicable to their situation?
Be real and share your vulnerabilities instead of sending a scripted message or calling to immediately ask the person to sign up for a demo, for instance, without nurturing them effectively along the sales journey.
When you inject authenticity into the conversation, prospects will see your human side and will be more apt to give their trust and be interested in hearing you out.
In fact, the part or our brain that is responsible for decision making runs off emotion. It has no concept for language.
In other words, when we consider buying something, the logical side of the brain can justify the rationale based on price, market comparison, brand, etc., but in the end, it’s our emotions that move us to make the final buying decision.
And that’s why it’s so important that you help your prospect through THEIR sales process – putting them front and center while building the relationship.
Facts tell. Stories sell.
What three things can you start doing to become more transparent to build trust and show your prospects you really care?
1) Understand your “Why”. Make your interaction an exchange of emotion. Through storytelling, give them a compelling reason for taking action. When you understand the impact you want to make, and the legacy you want to leave, share it. Coming from a place of truth and vulnerability will naturally lend itself to connecting with your prospects on an emotional level.
2) Keep the OPP – Other Person’s Perspective in mind. How do they feel? What are they thinking? How do they perceive your solution? When you can step inside your buyer’s mind and look at things from their perspective, you can tailor your message and make it relevant to them. Tell a story and invite them to be part of it.
3) Cultivate a continuous learning and growth mindset. Don’t shy away from opportunities to share what you’ve learned from others, and in various situations and the impact those have had on you. This demonstrates that you can see the big picture, and are capable and credible.
Tell success stories, or stories from life where relevant. We all have COVID stories, for example. You can also share failure stories; be transparent about your product or service. Nothing that’s sold anywhere is the ultimate perfect fix. But good products and services can change lives.
And that’s what your prospect is looking for – a positive change for the better with a solution that comes from a Trusted Advisor. Like I said earlier, be the salesperson you’d like to buy from. And then watch what happens!
How have you used stories in your sales process? How do you build trust with prospects? I'd love to hear about your challenges. Feel free to comment below. And if you'd like some help, reach out for a free consultation! Simply email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.
Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.