Recently, I’ve waded through two books – The Trust Factor by Robert Whipple and World-Class Selling by Roy Chitwood. I think both work together to form a powerful template for building trust and selling.
In The Trust Factor (Factor), Whipple postulates that there are Trustbuilders you and I can engage in that build and demonstrate trust:
- Act in ways consistent with values and vision
- Invite open dialog when conflict is present
- Be open to new ideas
- Don’t put people off
- Reinforce people who challenge
- Publically admit mistakes
- Follow-up on all commitments
- Tell the truth
- Release information wisely
- Discourage gossip and rumors
- Never talk behind people’s backs
- Don’t play favorites
Now, compare this list of 12 trust building behaviors with the five buying decisions everyone goes through before they part with their money for a good or service. They go through this buying process in this precise order. They buy:
- Your company
- Your product or service
- Your price
- Your time to buy
Now, when it comes to building trust, which of the five buying decisions are affected by your ability (or inability) to build trust? If you said “the first two, but mostly #1”, then you got it right.
Business is all about relationships. Relationships depend on trust (irrespective of the type of relationship it is) in order to succeed. Selling, employing, managing – all require trust at the core of the relationships. Many business owners are also the best salesmen for their organization. Trust and selling – they go hand-in-hand.
If you’re a Christian business owner, take a look at these two lists. How are you doing at building trust? Are people buying “you” and “your company” before you ask them to buy your product, at your price in the timeline you hope they will buy? Do they trust you? Can you do more to build trust?
Also, one other note – if you’re entering a new market, you’ll need to build trust long before you ask for the sale. You’re marketing your persona, company and products to a group of people who have no relationship with you – little understanding of your brand and perhaps little knowledge of your products. You’ll need to over-market to this community. For example, if a list of 20 tasks repeated 5 times with your current market gives you $100K in sales, out of the gate, you may need to repeate 40 tasks 15 times to get initial sales of $50K. It will feel like you’re over-marketing, but when penetrating a new market – especially one in which there is already robust competition, you’ll need to work harder and do more just to enter it. And most of the marketing will need to focus on building trust and explaining why they should listen to you in the first place.
Understanding the five buying decisions and the twelve methods of building trust will help you succeed in business and in life.