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I’m sure that we’ve all been on the receiving end of some dodgy sales tactics. It leaves a bad taste and rarely results in us buying whatever’s on offer. Business leaders want to buy from people they trust. Get this wrong and you’ll start to develop a poor reputation.

But, I’m pleased to say, most salespeople aren’t the stereotypical “used car salesman”.

We hear the term “trusted advisor” often and in the context of selling, we must first gain our prospects’ trust.

But how do you actually do that?

1. Offer Social Proof

When we see other people talking about something, it influences our own opinion of the item in question. Use this effect by asking for LinkedIn recommendations from current or former customers. Ask them to write a brief description of how you’ve helped them in the past.

2. Demonstrate Credibility

Buyers are unlikely to trust salespeople whose credibility hasn’t been proven by someone else. Providing information about how you’ve helped existing customers will help you to build trust with a new contact.

3. Make Eye Contact

Maintaining eye contact when speaking with someone face-to-face is an important form of nonverbal communication, especially when building trust. But be careful … staring directly into your prospect’s eyes for extended periods of time will make them feel distinctly uncomfortable.

4. Explore Bad Experiences

Your prospect may well have had poor experiences in the past with other suppliers, soask them to talk about the experience. It might seem counterintuitive, but digging up your prospect’s negative emotions could pave the way for trust with you.

5. Help Your Prospect To Evaluate The Options

Help your customers eliminate decision fatigue by offering to help them evaluate relevant information related to their buying decision, instead of merely throwing more information at them, leaving them to sort through it on their own. Focus on simplifying what you share with your buyers, supporting them as they come to their own conclusions.

6. The Power Of FOMO

Some prospects will definitely be motivated by FOMO (the fear of missing out), concerned more about what they miss by not taking the offer than by what they could gain by purchasing from you. We can use FOMO to our advantage by creating a sense of urgency or scarcity when making the sale.

7. Be Consistent

Trust isn’t built in a day. It takes days, months, or even years of proving yourself to earn someone’s trust. Regardless of the length of time, consistency is a key factor in building trust. Over the long-term, you should deliver on the terms of your client’s contract and follow up on any promises you made during the sales process.

8. Trust Your Prospect

The phrase “You decide — I trust your judgment” is an incredibly powerful way of building mutual trust. Why? Because demonstrating your trust in your prospect will encourage them to trust you back. If you think someone is trustworthy, you’ll treat them as such. And because you treat them like they’re trustworthy, they’re more likely to reciprocate.

9. Be Competent

This really should be a no-brainer. If you’re not good at your job, prospects won’t trust you — and let’s be honest, they shouldn’t.
So make sure that you do you pre-call research, ask the right qualification questions, listen to the buyer, provide thoughtful answers to objections, presenting tailored demos and know when to close.

11. Above all … Smile

Trust is a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean you have to look deadly serious when you’re trying to get people to trust you. In fact, an overly sombre expression might have the opposite effect. Offering a genuine smile and open body language can go a long way when speaking to prospects.

We all know that trust isn’t built in a day, but the foundations for trust can be. Employ these tips to get to trusted advisor status with your prospects faster (and increase your sales in the process).

If you’re struggling to build trust based relationships with your prospects, then check out our sales training and coaching options.

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