Tips on Building Trust with Customers

Successful sales are based on a genuine relationship between a company and its clients. The foundation for that relationship is trust—trust that the seller has the buyer’s best interests in mind and can be relied upon to help the buyer meet the challenges of their own business. Without that trust, the sales process is often immeasurably harder.

Here at Baillie Lumber, we work every day to earn and strengthen the trust we’ve built into our relationships with clients. This enables us to work closely with these clients, and often anticipate their future needs.  buildingtrust

If you want to build trust with prospective customers, here are tips to keep in mind: 

Be prepared. Never go into a call or meeting without conducting thorough research on the prospect. This means probing deeper into their “pain points” and other challenges that only your product or service can address. Thanks to the internet, you can learn a great deal about the prospect long before you make your initial move. Having this knowledge demonstrates to the prospect that you genuinely care about meeting their specific needs. 

Solicit referrals. The power of referrals to help build trust can’t be overstated. Requesting a referral from a loyal customer “is one of the easiest—and most effective—sales strategies at your disposal,” notes ZoomInfo. As part of your preparation, check out the company’s LinkedIn page. If you “happen to have any mutual connections,” think about “asking for an introduction to break the ice.” This is far preferable to cold calling. 

Harness the power of testimonials. Even if prospects don’t know any of your current customers, they’ll be interested in hearing what your satisfied client base has to say. Again, as part of your preparation, highlight customer case studies or video testimonials your company has collected, and incorporate these into your sales presentation. Select a case study or testimonial that most closely aligns with the needs and challenges of your prospect. 

Make sure your website offers up-to-date information. Some businesses neglect to refresh their website on a regular basis. This carries the risk of having content on the site that doesn’t align with your sales pitch, and/or frustrating prospects who only see outdated blog posts, sales prices, etc. In addition to fresh content, trust seals and industry certifications on your site can strengthen the trust factor with prospects. 

Pay attention to body language even in the virtual realm. Because of current conditions, you may not have the option to build trust through personal encounters with prospects or existing customers. If you employ Zoom to reach out to prospects, don’t forget that body language and non-verbal cues still play an important part. While engaged in a Zoom sales call, be sure you make steady eye contact. Avoid fidgeting or being distracted, and greet what the prospect says with an appropriate nod or by repeating back what you’ve heard.  

Respect deadlines. To build trust, you must be reliable and good for your word. Meeting deadlines for delivery is crucially important. “If a customer doesn’t receive his or her product on time, they’ll have a lower level of trust and confidence” in your business, notes Sales Lead. Whatever the situation, “meet all deadlines to build trust and confidence.” 

Don’t close a sale if you can’t meet the commitment. Passing on a sale—when you know your business lacks the resources to deliver on time—is often the right move to make. As we’ve noted before, it’s wise to “offer a working alternative—one that clearly benefits the prospect.” This demonstrates your willingness to put their interests first and shows “that you represent a business that’s determined to earn their trust.” 

Gaining a customer’s trust may be the most important part of the overall sales process. Once that trust is secured, it paves the way for a long-term relationship that benefits everyone involved. 

What ways have you found effective in building trust with prospective customers? Let us know, we would love to hear your thoughts!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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