What’s Your Strategy for Building Trust with Prospective Customers?
All things being equal, people tend to buy from people they like and trust. All things being unequal, the same principle applies.
Three key things to understand:
- People who are like one another, tend to like one another.
- People who like one another, tend to trust one another.
- People tend to do business with people they trust.
So how do we apply this in selling? We obviously can’t reduce our market to people who are like us. Many people in our target market will not be like us. So, what can we do? We need to treat people the way they want to be treated (not the way we want to be treated).
We need to be a chameleon on a sales call. We need to be able to consciously adapt our natural way (which may be nothing like our prospective customer) to be like them.
This means we need to understand our communication style and have our antenna up to pick up on things about the person that are different than us then quickly adapt. This is easier said than done.
In communication there are three things at work at all times: body language, spoken words, and tonality.
We tend to unconsciously infuse our tonality and body language to our words. Our body language and tonality are a much bigger part of what is communicated than the words.
Three components of tonality that we should be conscious of are tempo (rate of speech), volume, and inflection. Some people speak relatively quickly and some slowly. Some people are soft talkers and some have bold voices while others may speak relatively monotone compared to those that are more animated.
If I realize that I speak relatively quickly, with lots of volume and inflection then I will tend to make a soft-spoken person who speaks slower and with less inflection feel uncomfortable. This is where the chameleon comes in.I need to recognize this difference and, on the fly, adapt my natural way to be more aligned with them.
We call this matching and mirroring. We need to sharpen our skills in this area to be more effective at communicating with our prospective customers. This skill set will be a stepping stone to building better rapport and ultimately trust with each person you interact with.