For B2B marketing, everything starts from trust. And, we all know that winning someone’s trust (especially your prospect) is a slow, gradual process. Moreover, prospects tend to be skeptical about the sellers’ words; which makes the progress to build trust even more challenging.
I used to find winning prospects’ trust a tough challenge. But one day, it hit me. I realized that prospects are human (obviously), and we both pretty much share same lines of thoughts. If we put ourselves in their positions and imagine our reactions, we will know the best ways to present ourselves. When I prepared my presentation, I imagined myself as the prospect, and tried to become the most skeptical person I could be. I realized that the skeptical version of me did teach me how to sound more reliable and trustworthy to the prospects. And it works! Here are some psychology tips to build trust with your prospects.
1. Don’t be ‘Too good to be true’
We tend to be skeptical about perfection. Why? Simple! We are born to be imperfect. I have seen so many sellers calling to with blasted things about their products. “Our product is the highest quality and cheapest in the industry,” said the seller. When hearing that sentence, the inner voice in my mind instantly asked ‘Really?’
Don’t praise too much about your products or services. Blasted things will make prospects become more resistant to trust you. Instead, explain how your products and services have been helpful to your customers. Identify the problems of your prospects, and aim your selling points towards prospects’ problems. Simply put, don’t use big words to praise your products.
2 . Be honest and vulnerable
Psychology studies reveal that showing vulnerability can be an effective tool for you to build trust in some situations. Studies found that the highly competence people can make themselves more approachable by committing a pratfall. As a seller, you don’t have to be perfect and knowledgeable all the time.
It’s okay to admit that you don’t know some answers to some tricky questions. When you’re honest, prospects may find you more reliable and trustworthy. However, remember to show your vulnerability in a smart way. In order to reap benefits of being vulnerable, you have to establish your credibility first by showing your knowledge and experience. Dummy mistake is a different story from appearing vulnerable strategically.
Another tip is being truthful even it may hurts. For some situations, your product or service may not be the best solution. It’s fine to recommend a competitor if you think that your product can’t solve prospects’ problems. It may sound like kicking your ball into your own goal. However, in selling, it’s not really an embarrassing blunder. When you recommend the competitors, you have made a good impression that you’re genuinely concerned about prospects’ problems. They may not buy your products instantly, but they will never forget you. When they have problems, they will think about you and reach you first. Customers want solutions, and you need to be a source of solutions.
3.Show your genuine concerns
There are several ways to show your genuine concerns in order to build up trust with your prospects. Ask the right questions about prospects’ problems and situations. Then, demonstrate that you wish to help them find cut-through solutions to their problems.
Another tip is asking prospects about their bad experiences with previous suppliers. Encourage your prospects to share about their bad experiences and how their trusts get affected. This is one of the smart moves to build trust with prospects because you can identify prospects’ preferences and working styles from their stories. After knowing their stories, make promises to your prospects that you will never go down the same path.
Consistency is the key to building trust. Some sales reps start their cold calling with the sentence ‘I only need a few minutes / 3 minutes’, but end up talking nonstop till the prospects hang up. If you say that you will speak for 3 minutes, remember to time your speech for exactly 3 minutes. When your prospects see that your actions are consistent with your words, you have successfully skipped many days and weeks in building trust with them.
Smile! No kidding here. Psychology studies found that a smile increased someone’s willingness to trust by 10%. Trust is a serious thing, but you don’t have to look dead serious all the time. In building trust with prospects, a quick grin is actually an effective psychological tip. Don’t roar with laughter; you’re not in a party and you are not a clown. However, at times during the meetings, a quick grin or a happy smile will not only lift up your prospects’ mood but also effectively create your image as being positive.