“Business is all about relationships… how well you build them determines how they build your business”
Brad Sugars

You can be credible, reliable and loving but if it’s painfully obvious you only have your own interests at heart people will see through your charade. They will call you out for what you are, an empty suit.

Are you focused on building authentic and credible relationships with your clients?

Whatever the position you have in sales, you’re the face of the company. You’re the living testament of the corporate brand and its values. This places you in a unique position whether you believe or not.

I encourage everyone in sales to think about the following… all of you have blind spots and this might be hindering your sales performance. Here’s where I’m going with this.

Ask a room full of sales reps, “How many of you feel your customers would say you’re not trustworthy? How many would think you’re more focused on your own needs than theirs?” A few may brazenly raise their hands. However, let’s flip this and ask your customers, “How many of you trust the sales professionals you work with?” You smell what I’m cooking up here?

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Customers rate a dismal 18% of salespeople as trusted advisors worthy of respect, according to the Harvard Business Review.

CREDIBLE RELATIONSHIPS

Trust. You can’t form a credible and healthy relationship without it. Trust is the driving catalyst of buying and this is at the center of establishing credible relationships.

Your ability to build trust and credibility is mission critical to maintaining healthy business relationships. Lack of credibility and how believable you are, will cause your clients to withhold trust. Lack of trust in a business relationship costs you your clients and diminishes your ability to consistently succeed in sales.

Credibility = Trust + Expertise + Authenticity

The more trust you earn and the more expertise you establish, the more credible you and your ideas become, the stronger your client relationships become.

When you’re trusted, your clients and prospects are more inclined to accept your ideas. It’s because they see you as believable, well informed, and full of sincerity. They know in their gut you have their best interests at heart.

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In building credible relationships…

  • Are you sincere? Do you demonstrate a genuine belief that your ideas are worth your clients and prospects time?
  • Are you placing others’ best interests first? Do your clients and prospects believe you have their best interests at heart?

“Sales professionals lead with their heart and not their wallet”

  • Are you demonstrating integrity? Are you fulfilling your promises? How well does your actions match your words?

CONSISTENCY BUILDS CREDIBILITY

Way too many in sales focus on appearing trustworthy. Social platforms have become a breeding ground for many in sales to play “dress-up” as their walk and talk fails to match their appearance.

It’s quite simple, the key to earning your client’s trust… follow through on every single thing you say, every syllable and every word that comes out of your mouth.

A true sales professional is keenly aware of the importance excellent customer service plays in their success. It’s critical to understand that building loyalty takes time, and in order to build credible client relationships, you need to deliver a consistent and outstanding experience if you’re to retain your client’s hard-won loyalty.

Consistency, it’s a blend of honesty, discipline and the eagerness to help.

“Unfortunately, many in sales are consistently inconsistent”

Consistency is critically important in gaining and keeping trust, it’s your brand promise. It’s not about fulfilling the promise once and moving on to your next sales conquest. It’s sustained over time and the building of trust nurtures client relationships and loyalty.

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BURNING BRIDGES

Quickest way in sales to burn bridges is to break your promises. Too many in sales treat their customers like widgets on an assembly line. They move them along, take their money, and then make way for the next one; rinse and repeat month over month.

They reel in their customers like fish on a hook with flashy bullcrap and fake sincerity, leaving many less than satisfied with their overall experience. In order to turn your customers into clients, you have to do it right: “the almighty customer” should trump “the almighty dollar” no ands, ifs or buts!

You must stop looking at customers with dollar signs in your eyes and start creating relationships with them. When they see you truly value them, care about them and love them, they’ll be clients for life.

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Sales reps who make a habit of burning bridges often wake up one morning wondering, where did all my clients go? 

Plain and simple, keeping your promises builds loyalty. I encourage you to build bridges not burn bridges.

Stop pretending to be somebody you’re not. I’m quite confident you don’t want your customers to feel like they’re being “sold” based on false pretenses. When you’re sincere about trying to understand your clients’ needs, desires, and what they’d truly love from you, a human connection is made, this my friends is the foundation of trust. You can’t develop an authentic, sincere and substantive relationship without this understanding.

BURN THE EGO BRIDGE

It’s so typical for many in sales to think they are better than they actually are. So sad to be puffed up in your own ego. The almighty and sales ego can be devastating. When you think you’re all that and your sh$t doesn’t stink you fail to work hard to make yourself even better. Set aside your inflated ego and reevaluate YOU! Focus not only on what’s working for you, but I encourage you to look for aspects you are not succeeding in and do everything you can to improve them.

“A huge ego is a sales growth buzz-kill”

Top performing sales professionals, the true superstars – sell from the heart, are open-minded, curious, collaborative, vulnerable, open to learning and aim for partnerships when working with their clients. These sales professionals have humility and operate without any deception whatsoever. This is a direct conflict to the behavior of ego-driven salespeople.

BUILD THE CREDIBILITY BRIDGE

Your client’s need to trust and rely on you as a credible expert. Though it may be uncomfortable, you should avoid at all costs simply telling your client what you think they want to hear and start viewing them as human being, not just as a means to a commission check. Be honest, be upfront, be real, be human and be YOU!

Your clients smell what you’re cooking real fast

The bridge to credibility and trust with your clients is to exceed their expectations. Agree as to what reasonable expectations are, and don’t promise unrealistic results. Think about what would be valuable and go above and beyond in a way that your clients will appreciate.

Build bridges not burn bridges 

Larry Levine

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