After being in sales for many years, I had an "Aha" moment. I don't remember ever hearing about this idea in sales training (I've been through so many programs over my sales career) but I immediately knew it to be true when it registered in my head. I don't even know where it came from. This idea has impacted me and hundreds of individual contributors making calls from that day forward whom I've had the pleasure to train and coach. It is about the idea of building trust.
Some sellers call and call and don't leave voice mail. They want to catch their potential customer live on the phone. While I believe in not leaving too many voice mail messages, there are two reasons to leave one - positive branding, and to build trust.
Let's focus on the trust building today. Here is how simple this idea is:
You leave a voice mail message with a well-crafted, very brief message that shows some connection to the buyer or his/her company (we work with your industry counterparts X and Y), leave them your number, and let them know you'll be calling back later this week. If you are more specific, that is better. If you don't have some type of connection to the buyer, you have some value to add in the way of sharing insight. This makes the call warm, and more likely to catch your buyer's attention. You end the call with something like:
"I'll call back on Thursday at 9AM. I have a very brief story about why you might be interested in hearing more, and why it seems that our companies can benefit from talking."
I set a next action in my CRM system (you use one, right?)
I call on Thursday at 9AM. Even if my prospective buyer does not answer, I am building trust because I did what I said I'd do.
You can't do that when you call with no voice message.
If I use this strategy with a buyer who is just very busy (as most people are) then over time I may have had two or three chances to be a person of my word by saying I'd call back at a certain time and then doing it.
In How to Build Trust in a Virtual Workplace, Keith Ferrazzi notes that some biologists believe we are hard-wired to distrust everyone except our own family members.
The idea is that if you can find ways to build trust by saying what you will do next and then doing it, you are far ahead of your competitors.
This works in integrating social selling into the mix. If I find you on Twitter or LinkedIn, and share an article, story, or relevant insight that can be of help to you, I grow some level of trust that way too.
You also build trust with customer success stories, and with expertise in the niche your buyer is in.
If you are new in sales, then have people around you with expertise because that will help you be confident and convey the same characteristics to build trust with your buyer.
How to you build trust in your company?
What have you noticed about others who are working to build trust with you?
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2012 and 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.