January 7, 2011 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: closing, customer loyalty, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, Sales meeting ideas, training
Closing a sale is no longer just a matter of being on good terms with the customer or overcoming objections. It’s now a matter of trust.
Trust is an extremely rare commodity, built up slowly and painstakingly. It’s fragile, capable of being shaken or even destroyed by a single action or mistake. Building and maintaining trust is essential for establishing a long-term relationship.
Trust must be earned – and re-earned
Some people may be able to manipulate a customer into buying once, but they won’t establish a partnership until there is trust. If customers trust you, they’ll tell you their needs and expectations — and give you their business for years.
One slip up — a broken promise, a false claim, a breach of trust — and you risk losing a customer forever.
Here are four keys to earning customers’ trust:
- Clarity. Prospects count on salespeople to explain benefits in terms they can understand.
- Mutual commitment. Prospects enter into contracts with the salespeople they feel most secure with. The more both parties trust each other, the stronger the business relationship will be.
- Shared development. Salespeople earn trust by always looking for new ways to improve the prospect’s business.
- Focus. Prospects look for salespeople who can choose two or three customer-centric benefits and focus everything else around them.
Source: Wesley Forcier, President of Alpha Marketing, Brookline, MA.