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


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? 


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

Trust and Integrity in Selling May Not Be What You Think

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 @ 08:07 AM


I know someone who is incredibly likable, is always willing to help a friend, will help those in need, but will also manipulate situations to get what he wants.  He is likable and kind-hearted but sometimes low in integrity and I don't always trust him.

I know someone else who has inpeccable integrity.  His integrity is so strong that it makes him come across as self-righteous, pompous and surly.  He is not the least bit likable.  He could not be in sales because nobody would ever buy from him.  And despite his high integrity, I don't trust him at all.

I'm trying to think of someone I know that is both unlikable and low in integrity and outside of the people we hear about in the news, I'm coming up empty.  I guess that's a good thing!

Of course, as far as salespeople go, the holy grail is the salesperson who is both likable and has high integrity.  I believe there are significantly more salespeople in this sales category than the other three categories combined.  This may surprise people who are not in the sales professions because while salespeople constantly fight the stereotype of the snake oil salesperson, more often than not, it's the prospects who lack integrity. They withhold information, bluff, play games, mislead salespeople and outright lie.  There.  I said it.

Last week I wrote an article about likable salespeople and to what degree their likability influences whether or not their prospects buy from them.  One of the questions I asked was whether or not likable and integrity are intertwined.  Also last week, Jonathan Farrington started a discussion in the Top Sales World LInkedIn group that asked if it was more important to be liked in order to win the business.  Most of the people that commented thought that trust and respect were more important.

Three years ago I published a White Paper on Where, When and Why Salespeople Aren't Trusted.  I was very surprised about what I learned in doing the research for that paper not because there is more distrust of salespeople than I could have ever imagined in my worst nightmare, but because of which salespeople are the least trusted and why.

The thing that most people don't get is that salespeople aren't automatically trusted simply because they have high integrity.  Trust and Integrity are not the same.  We could wrongly trust someone with low integrity just as easily as we might not trust someone with high integrity.  Integrity is part of a saleperson's Sales DNA while the ability to build or create trust is actually a skill.  The scary part of what I just wrote is that a person with low integrity can learn the skills required for building and creating trust.  The sad part of what I wrote is that a person with high integrity may not wish to develop the skills required for building and creating trust.

At Objective Management Group (OMG), our sales force evaluations and our sales candidate assessments both measure a salesperson's integrity.  And when we look at their integrity, relationship building skills and likability, we begin to get a picture of their ability to create trust.  Because in the end, nobody will buy from a salesperson they don't trust.

If you would like to find salespeople that not only can sell, but will sell, in your business and to your customer, and you want them to have integrity, be likable and trustworthy, check out the top sales candidate assessment for the past 4 consecutive years.


Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, Trust of Salespeople, integrity, sales selection

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for nine consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave

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