Trust is THE foundational ingredient required for all business transactions and sales. The bigger the transaction, the more trust required. The more trust established, the easier the sale will be. The less trust established, the more difficult the sale.
No trust = No sale.
In every sales role I have ever had, from being a bank teller, to an electronics salesperson, to insulin sales, I routinely found myself in the top 20%. I wasn't a successful sales person because of what I said or how hard I worked, I was excellent at sales because I was great at building trust.
No matter what you are selling, it's important to always be aware of where you (and whatever you are selling) are on the trust continuum with your potential customer. Without establishing a foundation of trust, your sales objectives will always be an uphill battle.
Also, it's important to understand the customer you are selling to.
Using the diagram below: consider there are four categories of people that you might sell to:
- Blue: People who already trust you, but aren't a potential customer
- Don't waste time selling to blues, you will feel good about yourself, but you won't be making sales. Consider blues as your best referral sources and advisors.
- Green: People who trust you and are potential customers
- Spend as much of your selling time as possible with greens. Start with the greens who trust you most and work your way outward to those who trust you less and less.
- Red: People who don't trust you and are potential customers
- Once you've plateaued in your sales with the greens or are looking for more growth, start focusing on the reds. Remember, your first task is to establish trust with the reds. Without establishing trust, no sales happen.
- White Space: People who will never trust you
- Spend absolutely no time in the white space. When you realize that someone belongs in the white space, it's important to move on as quickly as possible. Spending time here is both ineffective and demoralizing.