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Our goal in Sales conversations is first to build 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 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 most likely feel that:
Simply said – if we can’t build trust, selling will be difficult.
Trust building is even more important now in the current selling environment.
With the amount of competition, coupled with a hybrid culture post-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? At the same time, how can we create a space for them to feel valued and heard?
By becoming the salesperson you’d like to buy from. And here’s how.
Make the Connection Real and Relevant
In a study measuring what Traits Buyers value in Salespeople, Active Listening was the highest at 42%. Ironically the other side of the list measured What Traits Sales Managers Value in Salespeople and Active Listening was 26%. This incongruence continues to drive a wedge between us and our prospects. They are telling us what is important to them, and what they value and sadly they are not aligned with the vision and priorities of the Sales Manager.
As individual contributors, we know how it feels not to be heard, and how immediately we are not the priority, this makes it difficult to start building trust with our audience.
Treat our audience how we would like to be treated, starting with allowing them to feel heard. Our role as a Salesperson is to help them solve a problem or reconsider the way they are tackling their situation now.
How Can We First Seek to Understand?
Listen, be present, and focus our attention on our audience. Only then can we pick up on signals, cues, and spoken and unspoken words that will allow the walls to start coming down and letting us in.
When you inject authenticity into the conversation, prospects feel your human side. Leading with your cards face up, engages them and starts building trust and they are willing to give you time- they see you as different.
The part of our brain that is responsible for decision-making runs off emotion. It has no concept of language.
When we consider buying something, the logical side of the brain can justify the purchase based on price, market comparison, brand, etc., but in the end, it’s our emotions that move us to make the final buying decision.
This is why it’s so important we help our prospects through their Buyers' Journey – putting them front and center while building the relationship. Removing friction, and clunkiness and commoditizing them and us.
What three things can you start doing to become more transparent, build trust and show our prospects we really care?
1) Understand our “Why”. Make our interaction an exchange of emotion. When we understand the impact, we want to make, and the legacy we want to leave, share it. Coming from a place of truth and vulnerability will naturally lend itself to connecting with our prospects on an emotional level. Your actions will also show this, you are operating from this internal awareness.
2) Keep the OPP – Other Person’s Perspective in mind. How do they feel? What are they thinking? How do they perceive your solution? What are their hopes/fears of getting on a call/ demo with you?When you can step inside your buyer’s mind and look at things through their lens, you can tailor your message- make it relevant to them. You are able to answer the questions they haven’t yet asked. Tell a story and invite them to see themselves in it.
3) Cultivate a continuous learning and growth mindset. Don’t shy away from opportunities to share what you’ve learned from others, and past mistakes and the positive impact they had on you. This demonstrates that you can see the big picture, and are resilient, capable, and credible.
Share success and failure stories, as well as stories from life where relevant. Being transparent about our product or service, and what they can and cannot do, disarms our prospects, builds trust and shortens the sales cycle. Nothing that’s sold anywhere is the ultimate perfect fix, the experience we create for them becomes the differentiator.
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? Practice Active Listening and finally Are you considering the OPP, Other Person’s Opinion in your Sales Conversations?
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.
We encourage you to take the first step towards change.
There are so many areas of business out of our control, yet we continue to invest in them and hope for a different outcome. What about your people? You have control over them and their development pathway. The ability to build a positive learning culture, improve their level of confidence and increase bottom line revenue.
Invest in them. Hone their sales skills to attract your most ideal clients, gain the required commitments through discovery, engage authentically and create an enjoyable repeatable experience for your clients.
Reach out to us today for a complimentary call.
Let us sharpen your skills and change your outcome.