Very early on in any sales cycle, you must establish trust. This is, in fact, the first job of a salesperson. In order to sell to a prospect, you must get them to tell you about their lives, hopes, dreams, and problems—which won’t happen unless they trust you enough to tell you what they’re really thinking.
Contrary to what most sales training states, the buying process isn’t rational and logical. It is, in fact, irrational and emotional (if it weren’t, we wouldn’t need salespeople, but just clerks to take orders). If a salesperson is going to get a buyer to view a product or service rationally and make a correct decision, the salesperson will have to firmly establish trust with that buyer.
How is trust established? By breaking through the barrier between social and real communication.
When you arrive at work in the morning, and you ask how people are, how do they nearly always answer? “Fine.” Are they? Maybe so, maybe not. But it’s just a social answer, isn’t it?
A person has been going through life pretending everything is “fine” simply because they have never (or rarely) come across anyone they can trust enough to stop pretending. They need a real, caring person to listen, understand, and guide them to a real solution.
In sales, right from the very beginning, you must establish enough trust so that your prospect is willing to disclose to you what they truly think. You need to have a real conversation, not a social one. The reason that most sales processes don’t end up in a sale is simply that, by the time we get to the “close,” we’re still having a social conversation.
Establishing real trust, on the other hand, will lead you all the way through the sales process and (if you have accomplished each step of your sales process) through to a successful close!
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