Building trust with your clients is a key to successful sales. If the customer does not think that you have their best interests at heart, they will not buy from you. Customers buy from the people they trust. To build that trust, the customer must know that you have empathy for them, that you are genuine and honest and that they can trust your product. Using testimonials and customer reviews is one of the many useful tools that you can use to build your customer’s trust not only in the product, but in you. Without these traits, your customer will find another sales rep to give their business.
Testimonials are useful in that they are evidence. Customers often buy because of the evidence of positive results for others who have made the same purchase. Referrals and testimonials are very persuasive when used during the sale. They are hard core evidence that the product or service was worthy of a five-star review.
Testimonials aren’t written in a “tone” coming from the producer or the sales department. They are written in the tone of another customer, something your client can relate to. They usually use industry terms and phrases and are familiar to the client. Testimonials will often times overrule any skepticism that the client may have had coming into the meeting.
Customers appreciate, and look for transparency in their business network, and especially from their sales people. What does transparency mean? It means exactly what you think it does, you are open and honest about everything. You are open about the successes and equally honest about the failures. Customers need to know that you are human, and you have ups and downs just like them. Being open to discussing the bad with the good creates a connection with the client that will build a positive relationship in the future. Transparency shows that you have nothing to hide.
First what is genuine? Genuine is defined as authentic, honest, and free of hypocrisy. Authentic people are usually open, have solid self-esteem, and freely voice their opinions. But how does this relate to sales and traits that your customer is looking for? Let’s see….
Customers want open and honest sales people. The customer associates upstanding character with people that are genuine and trustworthy. This can only come from someone who is authentic, and willing to talk about not only their successes but also their failures. Genuine people respond to their own internal expectations, and not those of others. Being truthful about your product, your company, and delivering what you promise will show your customer that you are a genuine sales person.
“Walk a mile in my shoes,” how many times have we heard that old saying? In respect to getting your customer’s point of view, this old saying says a lot. The best way to make the sale is to understand your customer’s point of view. This includes their point of view on your product/service, your company, and also your competitors. How can you gain this knowledge? Get to know your customer.
You know what it is like to be a customer. What is important to you? Quality or price? Find out what is important to your customer. It is probably similar to your needs. If it is not evident, ask your customer. You can do this in a survey, face to face, or email. Listen to your customer and the answers that they give. Make sure that you listen more than you talk when getting to know your customer.
Casey cannot seem to convince one of his best customers that by purchasing from him, they would save money, and be able to easily expand later. Casey has only been in sales for a couple of months and is not accustomed to being told no. To try and get some insight he practices his pitch on his co-worker Steve. Steve realizes quickly that with Casey’s inexperience with the customer, he probably hasn’t built any trust with the customer yet. He sits down with Casey to try and improve his standing with the client.
First, Steve downloads the customer testimonials that pertain to Casey’s product. These will help the customer see the quality that the product offers, just what they value. Steve tells Casey that he has to be transparent, maybe tell the client that he has struggled with the customer’s lack of commitment. Casey should tell the client that he genuinely wants the best for them, and that saving money would be the best choice. Casey calls the client and soon has their trust also.