Great Sales Teams Earn Trust

Lauren Follett's picture
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Lauren Follett
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Lauren Follett wrote:

According to Ray Carroll, Director of Sales at Marketo: “Good sales teams close deals, great sales teams earn trust.” Here are the 3 pillars of trust according to Ray:

1) Get the person on the other end to LIKE you.

Find some common ground by checking out their LinkedIn profile, and ask them questions about themselves. If you let them steer the conversation, and listen closely, you’re more likely to discover your common ground. The second you hang up the phone, record what you learned about the person in your CRM system, and refer back to it the next time you two speak.

2) Understand the buyer’s needs better than anyone else – even the buyer themselves

People buy products because they are looking to grow the business, fix a problem, or improve on a key initiative. It’s your job to find out what those main drivers are. Start by doing research into your buyer’s company – have they recently experienced a big growth or reorganization? Received negative attention for something? Ask them about their future goals, and how your product can get them there. If you focus on the buyer’s needs, and on how your product can address those needs, your product’s price tag won’t matter as much.

3) Offer ideas that the buyer hasn’t thought of before they spoke to you.

You are the expert in your industry and in how customers get value from your solution. Arm them with ideas that will make them look good in front of their boss: relevant case studies, competitor histories, and detailed projections. How will the partnership with your company help them six weeks, six months, or six years down the road? Partnerships are often formed for intuitive, emotional reasons (see tip #1), but your buyer needs to back up their decision with thorough research and hard data.

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Do you agree with Roy’s philosophy? What else does your sales team do to earn trust?

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2 Responses

Adrian Hargreaves's picture
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Adrian Hargreaves
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Adrian Hargreaves wrote:

Hi Lauren,  All of those things create the right environment for trust.  The real test comes when there are the inevitable problems and challenges in the days, months and even years after the deal has been done and paid for.  That is when the customer will decide how much he can trust both the individual salesperson and the company they are representing.

For example, does the same speed and effort go in to resolving problems that may occur after the sale compared to that which went into initially achieving the sale?  Does the company back up their sales people by enabling high levels of customer service or do they prefer their sales people to chase new business and minimise time with existing customers?  Is the level of service consistent over the full sales cycle and even multiple sales cycles, or is quality time with the customer reserved only for the periods prior and during the sales negotiations?  Are confidences gained within meetings and discussions kept private or used at the expense of the customer who has shared them?  What observations would the customer make in these various respects?

In short, trust can only be truly earned over time.  So to add to the 'what else' can be done, I would say to establish and gain agreement with the customer about their expectations to match what you and your company can and intend to do.  Consistently deliver against those expectations, year in year out.  Ensure that the customer appreciates and places a value on the service. Finally, modify expectations and requirements by mutual agreement as circumstances for all parties change through time.

Lauren Follett's picture
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Lauren Follett
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Lauren Follett wrote:

Great point Adrian - it's so important to place enough time & attention on keeping the customers you already have, and a big part of doing that is maintaining a trusting relationship.