5 Keys to Get Prospects to Trust You and Then Buy From You

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 @ 10:11 AM

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For most of 2017 those of us in the US have been inundated with political news.  That means lots of talking points (or spin) and of course talking points and selling go hand and hand, right? 

Maybe. 

While catching up with the latest news during the Thanksgiving break, I heard talking points from both sides of the political spectrum. I was very disturbed with the lack of facts in those talking points.  First we'll discuss the lack of facts and then we'll discuss how to make sure your talking points hit home with your prospects.

Last week the political topic was tax reform and hosts and their guests were obsessed with making the other side not only wrong, but depending on who was speaking, making sure we knew that those on the other side of the aisle are very bad people.

The Republicans bragged about the great tax cut for all Americans and how tax savings for companies will create jobs and economic growth.  Well, it is a cut but not that big, and not for all Americans. My companies will get tax breaks but they won't be significant enough to pay another 6-figure salary. I will pay even more in personal income tax, not less. 

The Democrats say that the middle class will pay more, corporations will be the big winners and that tax reform is nothing but a tax break for the rich because of the repeal of the estate tax.  Well, big corporations will win but when big companies win we all win.  A CEO's job is to use profits to grow the company and that means jobs and expansions.  As for the death tax, that money was already taxed, probably at one of the highest rates, so that tax was completely unfair in the first place.

Who's right?  It doesn't matter.  It's worth saying again.  It doesn't matter who is right.

The takeaway is that even one false argument discredits the entire argument.  When the Democrats say it's a tax break for the rich, who already pay 70% of the taxes, that is an out and out lie.  When Republicans say it's a huge tax break for the middle class, who live pay check to pay check, that is an out and out lie. 

It only takes one lie for people to stop listening to the bullshit. 

When Trump tweets something that is untrue, instead of being guilty of being incorrect on that one issue, it makes him a liar for all time.  When Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi make stuff up, like, "This bill will kill millions of Americans" in response to the proposed healthcare bill they disagree with, that makes them liars.  Not just about this one thing, but for all time.  What's interesting to me is that Trump supporters seem to know but don't really care when he lies while those aligned with Schumer and Pelosi seem to believe their lies.  Politics is all about whose lies attract the most support.

That brings us back to selling.

Not only must your prospects believe you and trust you for all time, but they must also give you their money and money changes everything.  They want value and if they believe you less than they believe your competitor - whether or not that's fair - your competitor will win.

Make these five changes in order to build trust and credibility:

Talking points - Eliminate your talking points!  Prospects recognize talking points as the hard sell so you are better to allow them make up their own talking points about you, your company and your products and services.  Read this for much more on why you shouldn't use talking points.

Facts - You can't be mostly true.  Selling with integrity requires you to always be truthful.  Read this for the one exception to being honest.

Testimonials - Your prospects will view your customers as authentic and believable because they already gave you their money and their story will be trusted.  Leverage your customers to talk about your honesty and integrity.  Isn't that what prospects want from a reference?  "Did Dave do what he said he would do?"  "Were the results what you expected?"  "How was Dave with your sales leaders and salespeople?"  "Did they find him helpful?"  "Would you use Dave again?"  Read this article for more on giving references.

Resistance - the single most important thing you can do when selling is to be aware of and ready to lower your prospect's resistance.  Period.  Nothing else matters if your prospect's resistance is high.  Read this article on how to manage and lower resistance.

Selling - Stop selling! Begin to have meaningful conversations that get your prospects to share their compelling reason to buy and buy from you.  Read this article for more on how to be more effective with your consultative approach to sales.

Image copyright iStock

Topics: Trust of Salespeople, credibility, Donald Trump, nancy pelosi, chuck schumer, talking points, Dave Kurlan

It's OK for Salespeople to Lie When This Happens

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 @ 23:10 PM

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This new world we're all living in is getting downright scary.  It's time to talk about selling in the context of this combustible culture but before I get started, a simple request to the haters on the left and the haters on the right.  You are invited to read something else.  I don't want to spend the next week responding to hate comments.

As I was saying, it's scary out there and while the bad stuff has begun affecting businesses, it won't be long before it's affecting salespeople but more on that in a minute.  And promise that you'll read this article to the end instead of jumping to a conclusion before I make the final point.

You might have missed this story about the owner of Dave's Soda and Pet Food.   Dave was a beloved business person in his community when customers suddenly abandoned him, stopped buying from his stores and started hating him on social media.  Why? Because he posed for a picture with the President signing an executive order.  His business was ruined - not because he is a Trump Supporter - he isn't - but because he was in a picture with Trump and people assume that he supported Trump's policies for healthcare.  And how about the Arizona restaurant that was forced to close because it ran a pro-Trump post on its Facebook page and their employees began receiving death threats?

What about the rash of CEO's that were shamed into resigning from Trump's business Advisory council?  They are patriots, love our country, come from both sides of aisle, believed they could help, but caved into the pressure coming from both social media and big media.

Now before you jump to conclusions, I'm not taking sides, this isn't a post in support of Trump nor is this a post to criticize him.  I am simply sounding the alarm over  what will probably happen next.  Based on how crazy things are becoming for businesses, salespeople are next.  Consider this.

What will happen when salespeople whose views might be very liberal, call on and meet with CEO's whose views might be very conservative?  What if the CEO has a picture of Trump on the office wall?

What will happen when a salesperson from a rural rust belt town ventures into the office of a liberal Silicon Valley CEO?  What if she has a picture of Hillary or Nancy on the wall?

Selling disconnects aren't new.  The 5 listed below have been around for decades: 

  • Prospects in Maine don't buy from salespeople who aren't from there.
  • Salespeople from NYC or NJ often struggle selling in the Midwest.
  • Salespeople with a dominant kinesthetic learning style struggle when selling to prospects whose dominant learning style is visual and vice versa.
  • Detail oriented salespeople struggle with big-picture prospects and vice-versa.
  • A poorly dressed salesperson will struggle with a prospect who dresses like a banker and thinks that everyone else should too.

In other words, when prospects sense that "she isn't like me" they pull back and don't buy.

And now we have this awful cultural and political divide which seems to be growing deeper and wider with each passing day. I hate what's happening out there.  The media amplifies every single one of these stories to get anyone who will listen all worked up over it, they get political opponents to speak out, and then the media runs and amplifies the responses to create additional angst (or ratings).

So what should a salesperson do when a prospect asks, "What do you think about all of this craziness in Washington and with our politicians and their policies?" 

And why might the prospect ask?  It is probably because he or she wants to speak out against the other side and it would be cool to rant with a like-minded person.  If you're on the same side you'll be fine, but what if you're not?  And are you willing to risk losing a sales opportunity because you were on the wrong side of the rant?

It's not cool to lie in sales. But I'm suggesting that this is the one time when a lie will do you good!  Resist the temptation to speak your mind and just say, "I'm actually an independent, not very political, and I try to ignore all the craziness."

Of course, if that's what you actually do, even better.  But if you do have a strong opinion, and you don't know for absolute certain if it runs counter to your customer or prospect, you have my permission to tell a well justified fib.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Donald Trump, hillary clinton, nancy pelosi, Dave Kurlan, sales and politics

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016 and this one for 2017. Read more about Dave.

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