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Conversations Build Trust While “Selling” Loses It

The best selling conversations are among two or more people that trust each other. How you communicate in your sales conversations will either build or lose trust with your prospect. I asked buyers on LinkedIn, Which phrases tell you someone is “selling” you something? And, what qualities or attitudes do your favorite sales people posses? I was provided with a great variety of responses. As a Sales Rep, read their remarks and notice if you get defensive in any way or if you agree with them. Remember this, what’s most important to buyers is what will build trust, not what you believe is most important for them.

Here are the answers.

Pretending you know someone will lose trust fast.

How do I know a person is trying to sell something? When I answer the phone and someone I have never talked to before begins with, “Hello Gwen, how are you?”

If you can’t meet a need, back off and build a relationship

The moment that the product or service no longer solves an immediate problem I’m gone. I’ve got a great network of friends and associates who, once my time has come for their service, I’ll utilize. I try not to make buying decision quickly or on the spot without checking my resources. So, if the caller can be patient and not push what I don’t need now, they could become a future resource, then 9 of out 10 times I’ll buy.

Phrases that cause buyers to feel like they are being “sold”

Can I take a moment of your time?
I would not lie to you.
I’ll be honest with you.
I am personally very excited about this product.
I’ve told all my relatives about it.
This is one of the hottest things on the market.
You are going to want to have one of these.
You can check out the facts on this.
This might not be here tomorrow.
This offer is only good now.

Pitching will yield a low closing percentage

A sense of “being sold” emerges if the salesperson is on a track. They just sort of keep going, and if they happen to hit my problem with a shotgun pellet, well, OK. The odds are, however, that they won’t make the sale, unless my mind was already made up to buy.

Building trust does not always mean you will win the deal, but you will win!

I still believe in certain positive characteristics that usually lead to a good conclusion namely;

  • being on time for an appointment
  • staying within the time frame allocated for a discussion or demonstration
  • a follow up thank you
  • calling back on an agreed upon date..not sooner
  • and last but not least when unsuccessful, taking it like a professional.

I have referred vendor sales reps to other colleagues even though I did not buy from them. I referred them based of how well they handled themselves and they had a good product. Some of these sales people called me and thanked me for the referral.

Listening is a big key to trust

My favorite sales people listen, focus on solving my problem, communicate their ability to solve it with their product or service, treat me with respect (not as an idiot) and instill a desire in me to buy rather than them to sell.

Get engaged in your buyers problems to build trust and conversation

I work with more experienced, sophisticated and successful salespeople and it is more a question of ‘process’ than phrases.

With these more experienced/sophisticated salespeople it depends on the arc of the presentation. If I am being engaged, and drawn into revealing my problem and getting the sense that I’m going to get a solution, the awareness of “being sold” goes away.

Listening to sales people is part of my daily routine. In my experience what most sales people think they are saying and what they are actually saying are two different things. I’m not saying this happens in every conversation or phrase, but it happens often enough that I would suggest having someone ride along with you and listen to you. After the appointment pull out a copy of this blog and evaluate if you were building trust or losing it.

Send me your comments. What you do you think about what’s been suggested?

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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