Sales Skills: How to Build a Trusting Relationship With Your Customer

December 10, 2011 by  Filed under: Sales 

Trust is an essential element in the buying process and sales people need to adopt any methods needed to strengthen it. Prospective customers have very few reasons to be loyal in a new business relationship and can therefore easily change their mind and move to a competitor if they feel something is not quite right. That’s why sales people need to rapidly and effectively build a trusting relationship with their customers in order to close more deals.

1. Be Sincere

Sales people sometimes find it hard to be sincere because they fear that telling the truth may drive the customer away. Well, this may happen on occasions, especially if you say you’ve just been released from prison for murdering a couple of friends over a game of poker. However, on a more serious note, customers really appreciate sincerity from sales people because they frequently don’t expect it. Let’s say for example you are selling your motorbike to a person who responds to an Ad in the newspaper. You show them the bike but you quickly tell them about the minor accident you had the year before. The bike was a bit damaged but you got it all repaired professionally. As a result you’ll sell it for 10 or 15% less than the usual asking price because it may have lost some of its value as a consequence. Imagine how the buyer will react to this level of honesty. Some people may not buy the bike when they hear this, but others will really begin to trust everything you tell them after admitting to something that will negatively impact your wallet. The crucial element here is that the sales person is revealing information that will be of greater benefit to the customer. I believe if we translate this concept into our way of doing business, there will be a lot of people who will really appreciate us, and more importantly they will feel they can trust us not to lead them down the wrong path.

2. Help Them as Much as Possible

We need to get used to saying “yes” even when we don’t feel like saying yes! If we help somebody once they’ll like us, if we help somebody twice, they’ll really like us. If we help somebody three times, they’ll love us and trust us. One of the reasons why helpful sales people are more successful is the fact that too many sales people can’t hide the fact that their priorities come first. Some of this can be down to the pressure of time restraints but I don’t buy into this completely. If a person is genuinely helpful I believe that they will go a lot further than someone who just does it artificially for their own gain.

3. Keep Your Promises

One of the worst mistakes a sales person can make to a customer is to promise something that they will never realistically be able to deliver. Even worse than this would be to promise something that can be delivered but the sales person has no intention of delivering it. Believe me when I say that customers will remember when a sales person doesn’t deliver on a promise and it goes without saying that this will not help when it comes to developing a trusting relationship.

4. Use Powerful Testimonials

When I see testimonials on websites I often wonder how many of these smiling happy customers are actually genuine. Sorry to be so sceptical but I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of potential customers visiting the site for the first time. This is why I believe that the more believable the testimonial becomes, the more trust the customer will have in the sales person. We need to be imaginative in finding more powerful and original types of testimonials for our products or services. However, nothing can beat speaking to a satisfied customer who will assure a potential client that a company is great to work with.

As professional sales people we need to take actions that will allow customers to trust us more. They in turn will reward us with repeat business, referrals and a more trouble-free working relationship in general.

David Lynch is a Sales Training Designer & Accomplished Author. He has more than 20 years experience in a variety of industries including software, insurance & hospitality. If you would like to learn more sales skills from David you can download a Free Copy of his Powerful E-book “25 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling” at

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