It’s an unfortunate reality. When it comes to professionals who earn the lowest marks for honesty and ethical conduct, car salespeople continually drop to the bottom of the pile — next to Congressmen, according to a recent Gallup poll.
While car salespeople were singled out in the study, a sales industry specialist says if you dig deeper, it’s likely that more than 85 percent of consumers have a negative view of salespeople — no matter what industry they’re in. Bill Brooks of the Brooks Group said statistics also show that people will judge your trustworthiness in less than one-tenth of a second.
So, if sales reps are already suspect, how do you overcome those odds when engaging with a sales prospect? Here are 5 tips for gaining and sustaining trust as a salesperson. Some are obvious but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of them.
- Be yourself. OK. We’ve heard this one before but when we’re nervous or tense, we have a tendency to be a little artificial to compensate. Avoid that temptation. If necessary, do a few exercises or stretches to relax your muscles before going into an important meeting. It can help you calm down and come across more authentic.
- Ask plenty of questions. Selling involves building a relationship with the customer. How do you get to know your prospect without asking the questions to really understand why they would want to purchase anything from you.
- Listen. No one will believe that you genuinely want to provide a solution for them if you don’t take the time to really listen to them. Take a breath and resist the temptation to spit out a rehearsed pitch. Make sure you’re repeating a few of the points they shared to convey that you understand their needs and challenges.
- Be open. Don’t beat around the bush when building your case for the value of your products and services. Avoid exaggerations … which could lead to immediate red flags. Quickly go over the main points and provide examples of how it can address the client’s needs and challenges.
- Build credibility. Here’s where a good case study can come in — just use it to go over how it resulted in a great ROI for a client. A real-life example adds credibility because it does the talking for you.
Building relationships with prospects is essential for sales success. With MonsterConnect, a sales prospecting enablement solution, you’ll have more time to have meaningful conversations with your top key decision-makers. Find out how. Contact us for a demo.