Part One of A Two-Part Rant On Integrity
If you think that your well rehearsed sales techniques, good looks, charm, firm handshake, thousands of Twitter followers, a flash intro on your website, a full color ad, or the magnetic sign on the side of your vehicle will close a sale for you – think again.
It’s all about building relationships with clients. Whether it’s a personal relationship or a business relationship, there are three elements to building and maintaining something strong and enduring.
Earning trust starts from day one. It can be as simple as actually thinking about what you say – which is all too rare these days. When someone first asks if your product or service can help them, the most common answer is something like, “Absolutely.“ You’ve already missed the mark.
The answer, of course, should be in your own words but the message absolutely must be “I don’t know yet. Let’s talk and figure it out together.”
Any other answer would be untrue.
Like a personal relationship, trust is earned over time. It means calling when you say you’ll call. It means showing up when you say you’ll show up. It means never, ever, ever lying.
Everyone says they care but those who demonstrate it consistently will stand out. Demonstrating to the client that you really do care isn’t difficult – but, sadly, it’s not too common.
Trust can not only get you a sale, it also insulates you from losing a client. I’ve had the same insurance agent for about 20 years. 10 or 12 years ago he came to my house on a Sunday to help me replace a very large plate glass mirror on the wall that had cracked. He did this so I didn’t have to put in a claim and be re-rated.
Do you think I ever even consider switching to all those companies that promise to save me a few bucks?
So if your number one priority is learning the tired old closing techniques or printing flashy business cards, then you simply don’t understand how to sell in today’s environment. The economy is making everyone think carefully where they spend their money, and they are going to spend it with someone they trust.