Whats the best outcome for you from your first call? What would you like your client to think of you after your first meeting? First impressions last right? So it’s really important to nail it on the first call…
So lets look at each of them in turn, starting with trust.
Everyone wants to build trust with the client don’t they? I remember training courses advocating a two call sell that suggested that the first call was to develop trust and rapport, and then to understand the clients problem. I’m with them on that second part, but let’s think about this whole trust thing in a bit more detail.
How long on average does it take you to trust someone you’ve just met? I mean trust them to the extent that you’d give them money! Trust them to the extent you’d be fully honest with them and answer all their questions with openness? In fact, how many people could you describe as really trust worthy in your whole circle of friends colleagues and customers? Not a whole lot right? I can count on one hand the number of people I ‘fully’ trust (may be thats just me)
And do you need to trust someone to buy from them anyway? Well clearly we do not. We’ll need to trust the company or product I think, but not the sales person so much. I’d agree that a sales person obviously untrustworthy isn’t selling very much at all. But I’m not talking about being overtly untrustworthy, I’m talking about that early stage in a (professional) relationship with someone. And then expecting them to trust you, or even worse, trying to influence them so they will trust you. It’s almost impossible.
So how about Like? ‘People buy people’ is most likely the oldest sales advice you’ve ever heard. I’m not going so far as to say it’s really bad sales advice, but let’s think about this one for a minute or two. Have you ever bought something from someone you didn’t like? Well, I bet you’ve walked rather than buy when someone has offended you, or been deliberately rude or difficult. But I bet you also had to put up with some pretty shoddy behaviour for some purchases too? Why is this? Something to do with the fact you really needed that product or service, or there wasn’t an alternative product or service readily available?
And how about the times we’ve bought stuff from people we haven’t even known, and have no intention of building relationships with? Supermarkets for instance. And websites too, You can’t ‘like’ a website can you? Not in the way we are talking about at least. We are happy to buy from people we don’t like every day.
So may be the phrase should be something like ‘people buy people but they don’t have to buy people to buy?’
That leaves us with Respect. I can honestly say, if your client respects you, you are more than half way there. Whether they like you, or trust you, if they repect you, that means they are listening to you.
I think this is at the heart of our relationships with our Doctors for instance. We don’t tend to question the Doctor’s diagnosis or the prescription do we? that’s because we respect their learning and experience, not because we like them (maybe we do) or trust them. Though we will almost certainly trust them sufficiently to allow them to diagnose us and treat us right? Well I believe thats because of the respect we have for them. Until of course you have managed to build a genuine relationship with them.
How do you get people to respect you? Simple. Know your stuff. Learn it, read about it, study it. Whatever it is you are selling, know more about it than anyone else in your market. And the magic ingredient? I keep coming back to this – Be authentic. Be yourself.
There is so much competition these days, so many ways to buy and sell things, so many commercial approaches we have to deal with, so many sales messages, so many advertisements, bombarding you and telling you to buy buy buy!
Sitting in front of your client, advising them in a genuine way. Genuinely, authentically advising them whatever you genuinely, authentically think they should do. No flash, no technique, just honest attention to their problems and the best advice you can muster is all it takes.