Build Sales by Building Trust from Clients
Before your sales team makes its next pitch, consider the fact that your prospects are feeling overwhelmed by too much to do, too little time, and too many bad cold calls.
Al Davidson, founder of Strategic Sales & Marketing, believes that lead generation is not about how many numbers you dial or how many decision makers you talk to. Ultimately, it is a matter of building trust.
"Every time your sales team talks to a prospect, they have a chance to build trust so that the prospect will want to hear more from them," Davidson says in a recent Internet post. "By avoiding the pitfalls of a canned sales pitch and giving prospects a reason to listen, you can build stronger sales relationships that lead to better conversions and bigger profits."
Davidson offers the following tips that your small business can use to build trust with sales prospects:
First, do your homework.
"Before your sales reps pick up the phone, they need to know who they are calling and why," Davidson says. "Show them that you know something about their company, you know the industry, and you have a specific reason for why you thought they would like to hear from you today."
Second, ask questions.
"Instead of making the classic mistake of launching into a canned sales script that will quickly cause the prospect's eyes to glaze over, your sales reps need to ask questions to provoke a thoughtful response," he says. "Lead into the value proposition by asking the prospect open- ended questions."
Third, listen for unstated needs.
"Talented sales reps know how to 'read between the lines' of a conversation to find hidden opportunities," Davidson says. "Prospects will rarely tell you flat out, 'This is what we need, and this is what we're willing to pay.' Instead, your sales team needs to uncover the prospect's needs by delving deeper into the conversation and really listening to what the prospect has to say."
Fourth, offer something valuable.
"Instead of just breezing through a sales script and asking for a sale, the most credible sales reps know how to offer the prospect something of value without tying it to the expectation of a sale," Davidson says. "Could you offer your prospects some valuable business intelligence or thoughts on industry trends? Offer to share a white paper or presentation with them?
"All of these little acts of generosity are building blocks for a more trusting relationship and possibly an eventual sale."
Finally, take your time.
Davidson believes that one of the most common mistakes in business-to-business sales is when overeager sales reps ask for the sale too soon.
"B2B sales leads need to be nurtured and managed over a long period of time, sometimes months or years, depending on your sales cycle," he says. "One of the best ways to build trust is to show your prospects that you are in it for the long haul and are willing to develop a solid working relationship with them over time - you're not just swooping in for a quick sale.
"If you show prospects that you are committed to their success and you're willing to keep talking with them for the long term, they'll be more likely to trust you and eventually buy from you."
The proof is in the pudding. Davidson's company has generated more than 7 million sales leads in the past two decades, resulting in millions of dollars to his clients.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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