Let's be honest! Most people are suspicious of Sales Professionals! No matter how professionally you conduct yourself, you're often starting from a little below zero on the trust scale!
In fact I read a survey in a newspaper not too long ago which rated the top twenty professions that people trust the most...and salespeople were right down around number 17 on the list! I think we were just above politicians!
So as you build your personal brand as a Sales Professional, how can you be different? How can you build trust with your clients and prospects so that not only will they trust you...but they will consider you as one of their family and friend's key advisers when it comes to your area of expertise.
I believe there are three very important ways you can do this.
1. Be ConsistentI recently interviewed Tom Panos - who is a Real Estate Coach and Auctioneer - on my podcast The Sales Professionals Podcast and he explained how important it is to have a 'keep in touch strategy' with your clients.
Often when you first meet your clients, they may not be ready to do business with you immediately, but if you consistently keep in touch with them, when they are ready, you will be the person who is top of mind and who they are more open to putting their trust in. You've stood the test of time.
When you are in the actual process of dealing with your clients, consistency is also a vital component to winning their trust. If you promise to do something for your client...and then don't follow through, you will devalue your trustworthiness. When you make appointments with your clients, and then continually turn up late - even if it's only a few minutes - you are building a negative form of consistency which will also erode their level of trust in you.
If after you've made the sale, and your clients need some additional help but you never return their calls, you are re-enforcing that stereo-typical view that Sales people are only interested in getting their money - rather than building a long term consistent relationship of trust.
2. Be HonestI watched an amazing video today which showed a Chameleon changing colours as different coloured pairs of glasses were put under it's feet.
Although we know that this is a protective mechanism when these little creatures are in the wild so they can blend in with their environment, when we refer to a person as a Chameleon it's usually in a negative sort of way. It's used to describe someone who is trying to be all things to all people!
As a Sales Professional it is important to accept the fact that you will not be able to help everyone. And the sooner you can be honest with your clients about that, the more trustworthy you will become in their view.
Marcus Sheridan is the founder of The Sales Lion, and he helps companies create Content Marketing that attracts more clients by providing honest and transparent answers to questions that people are searching for on Google.
This includes providing pricing on your website for your products and services...honest comparisons between your company and your competitors...any common problems people may have had with your services...as well as promoting all of the many great features and benefits of how you can help your clients.
When prospective clients see and believe that you are willing to provide a truthful, unbiased perspective, this builds enormous levels of trust, and will position you as someone who is honest and reputable to deal with.
3. Be GenerousYour level of trust that you build with others will be directly proportional to the level of value that you are providing your clients.
Why does a person serving at McDonalds and asks 'Would you like fries with that?' earn $10 an hour...while your Mechanic at your local workshop who makes your car safe on the roads earns $40 an hour, and your doctor who looks after your health earns $200 per hour?
It's based upon the level of value they bring to your life and the amount of trust you place in their hands. If you want to build trust with your clients, then they need to experience great value from the service you provide. Then they will consider your advice to be trustworthy...and they will reward you accordingly.
There are several people in my life who are extremely generous with their time and wisdom and experience that they share with me. I value and trust these people immensely. There is such and important lesson in this for all of us.
Be generous with the value you bring...the services you provide...the expertise you can share...and your clients will trust you with their business too.