Business is about forming relationships and getting potential customers comfortable with what your organization offers. The most successful businesses understand that in order to gain more customers, potential customers have to know, like and trust them before they’re willing to complete the sale.
Accomplishing this comes naturally for some. For others, it’s a skill that needs to be developed in order to grow. In this article, I’ll be sharing three powerful ways you can get customers to know, like and trust you. Which will improve your chances of persuading your potential customers to work with you. Each of the following have been proven to be effective based on extensive study of psychology and human behavior.
Move Beyond Small Talk & Spark Curiosity
No one likes rejection, but for you to move forward in the sales process, you have to move past the small talk and ask for the sale. One way to accomplish this is by making people curious about your products and services. Curiosity can be a powerful sales motivator because it creates a mental itch that your potential customers are eager to scratch.
The key to creating curiosity around what you’re offering, is being able to connect the action that you want to take with the mystery that you have created. This starts with your ability to keep the attention of your potential customers. Whether it’s through email, a blog post, or a phone conversation.
Using marketing automation tools, you can build curiosity through email and inject more information into the conversation. Email is extremely powerful for this because you can build anticipation with your subject lines, attachments that you send to your prospects, and even your regular weekly newsletters. The trick is to include a hint of what they’ll be learning or what they’ll gain in the process of working with you, and let their curiosity do the rest.
Storytelling is another approach that you can use to create curiosity in your sales conversations. For example, you can start by telling the first part of a compelling story, and working the rest of it into the rest of your conversation or sales presentation. When you hold back parts of the story, it increases the odds that your potential customer will pay attention to at least hear the end of the story.
That’s why if you’re going to use storytelling in your conversations, it’s vital to tell a story that can be broken up into several chunks. Otherwise, your potential customer might want you to get to the point and move on with the rest of your agenda. Whetting the appetite of your potential customer is a useful technique that works for any method that you might be using to communicate.
Show Your Credibility, But Not Too Much
There was a time when every transaction a customer had with a sales representative wasn’t entirely coated in distrust. Your customers have become used to being told partial truths and working with misrepresented services. In order for you to get through that coat, you’ll have to do something to prove your credibility from your very first interaction. Which means providing a strong reason to believe you over the competition.
You’ll need to give potential customers a valid reason why you’re the most qualified person to sell them the solution to their problems. This can be your experience in a particular field, specific results from the service you’re offering, or awards and recognition from well known industry groups. These can help break down the wall of disbelief enough for your sales efforts to have a chance of working.
Tread lightly when using this method. Embellishing your accomplishments too much can sometimes have the opposite effect. Depending on the personality of your potential customer, you might suspicion if there are nothing but positive sources being used to show your credibility. For example, if you’re using customer testimonials, you’ll want to show people who had a negative experience and then discuss how you, or your organization responded to that feedback and solved the customer’s problem.
Be Firm In Handling Objections, and Be Willing To Walk Away
Depending on what your service is, there’s a good chance that even as you’re telling an engaging story, showing your credibility and preparing your pitch, your potential customers are thinking of reasons why they shouldn’t listen. As a business development professional, it’s your job to handle their objections so you don’t miss out on opportunities.
Perhaps the most common objections you’ll hear will be around the price of the product or service. Regardless of whether or not they can afford the cost. In many cases, you can counter this by demonstrating the additional value that your service brings to the table compared to your competition’s lower priced services.
If you have a specific reason behind your cost and pricing strategy, then explaining why the price is higher than the competition is another way to overcome this objection. If you’re selling an enterprise product, you’ll hear the excuses “I really can’t afford it right now,” or “I need to ask my partner” or some other variation of the phrase.
When this excuse is used, your potential customer isn’t saying that your price is too high. Instead, they’re saying they have reservations about spending money with you. There are many common objections and knowing how to get around them is useful. However, it’ll be even more useful to look at what you’re offering through the eye of the customer. In doing this, you can hold a brainstorming session and create a list of every possible objection that might come up. Then, prepare yourself for answering those.
Not everyone is going to love your business or what you have to offer. So, if you’re working with someone who dislikes your offer after you’ve responded to every objection, don’t make them dislike you as well. Realize when the conversation isn’t going to go any further, thank them for their time and move onto the next potential customer. This will allow you to leave this potential customer on good terms and show them that you value both your time and theirs.
The Bottom Line
Getting potential customers to know, like and trust you is the key to being able to sell your products, ideas and services. Before you pitch your company or service, you have to get your potential customers to first say yes to you. Moving past small talk in your conversations and sparking curiosity can help with keeping them engaged. Once you have their attention, show that you’re a credible organization to help bring their guard down. Prepare yourself for objections, but know when to walk away from a conversation that isn’t going to lead to a sale.
These techniques will work in every type of business, regardless of your industry. To gain a deeper understanding on how to apply these methods to your sales conversations, click here.