The Trust and Respect Problem

by Jacques Werth and Carl Ingalls

The two most important decision making factors for the vast majority of people who are making a significant buying decision are:
  1. How much do I TRUST this salesperson?
  2. How much do I RESPECT this salesperson?

How do you get your prospects
to trust and respect you?

Showing your testimonials, reference letters, and independent testing laboratory reports will not get most people to trust you. If they haven’t decided to trust you yet, they aren’t ready to trust your documentation.

Showing a deep interest in their problems is not the answer either. They know that you are looking for a problem that your products or services can solve.

Talking about their problems intelligently to show your expertise will not get the prospect’s respect. They have to feel that they respect you before they can respect your suggestions.

How do you get your prospects to trust and respect you?

What if trying to “get” someone to trust and respect you is what causes people to not trust you and to not respect you?

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The Trust and Respect Problem

Prospecting: Should you research a prospect before you call?

by Jacques Werth

Many salespeople have been taught that they should know as much as possible about a prospect before they make a prospecting call.  Depending on the type of prospects that you are calling, the research could take between five minutes and perhaps forty-five minutes.  All that, for a call to someone who is far more likely to say “No” than “Yes.”

You should generally do only as much research as it takes to get the name and phone number of the prospect before you call.  In most cases that means that you must define who is most likely to have a need for your type of products and services, and the money to buy what you are selling.  Therefore, you must make a list of all of the demographics of your ideal customers and prospects.

If your market is consumers, some of those demographics could be:  age, family status, income, net worth, zip code, etc.

If your market is business, or institutional, some of those demographics could be:  industry, job title, size of company, number of employees, etc.

Once you have the list, contact a reputable list broker and buy a prospecting list of about 750 prospects, complete with phone numbers.  The costs may range from 11¢ to 45¢ per name.

That is all the knowledge you will need to call the people on your list and offer them your product or service.  Once you have presented your offer, most of them will say “No”.  All that means is they are not ready to buy now.  In some cases they will tell you that you are talking to the wrong person and they will give you the name of someone else to call.  In some cases they will say “Yes”.  Once you have set up an appointment with a prospect, that is the time to do research on whom you are going to meet.

Prospecting: Should you research a prospect before you call?

The Power of Accepting “No”

by Carl Ingalls

The following is part of a recent conversation on Twitter.com between Carl Ingalls (http://twitter.com/Carl_Ingalls) and Christina Luminea (http://twitter.com/cristinaluminea).  Jacques Werth (http://twitter.com/JacquesWerth) is the owner of this blog.

Carl:  Your ability to take “no” for an answer makes it easier for others to say “yes”.

Your ability to take “no” for an answer makes it easier for others to say “yes”.

Christina:  This really got me thinking: RT (@Carl_Ingalls: Your ability to take “no” for an answer makes it easier for others to say “yes”. Thanks Carl

Carl:  Thank you for the RT, and I would love to hear about your thinking. I’m always looking for better ideas & ways to say them.

Christina:  I think you are right. By taking “no” for an answer you show people respect for their ideas and beliefs. You build trust.

Christina:  People will be more confident to say ‘yes’ next time, knowing their opinion counts and they are not taken for granted.

Christina:  The strangest thing is all of this makes sense but I wouldn’t have thought of it before. This is why: Thank you!

Carl:  Thank you very much for sharing your thinking with me, and expressing it so well. It helps clarify my own thinking.

Carl:  The idea of “taking no for an answer” is part of a sales philosophy I’ve been studying, called High Probability Selling.

Carl:  I am helping the founder with a blog. May I have your permission to quote your tweets there? http://TinyURL.com/HPSBlog

Christina:  Please feel free to use any of my tweets and I am looking forward to share thoughts and ideas with you, in the future.

Jacques:  Your conversation with @cristinaluminea would be good to post on our blog.

Carl:  “The Power of Accepting No”, a Twitter conversation with @cristinaluminea posted on http://TinyURL.com/HPSBlog

The Power of Accepting “No”

Take Advantage of Information Overload

by Jacques Werth

Information Overload results in the average American being exposed to over 12 million informational messages per year.  The vast majority of those messages get filtered out before they ever reach a conscious mind.

Five-Step Buying Decision Model, developed circa 1950
AIDCA = Attention, Interest, Desire, Conviction, and Action

Those people that perceive they have a need for the benefits of your products and services open their mental filters to “solutions” that have the potential to satisfy those needs.  They have already gone through Attention, Interest, and Desire before you showed up.  Then, it is a matter of which of their needs has top priority.  That makes them into High Probability Prospects, or not.

A High Probability Prospect is someone who needs, wants, can afford, and is ready to buy now whatever it is that you are selling.  We do not spend time with anyone who does not meet these criteria.

A High Probability Prospect already has Attention, Interest, and Desire.  We verify this during the initial steps of the sales process.

When you spend your time only with High Probability Prospects, your primary focus is on the Conviction and Action steps.  You will close many more sales than your competitors who are spending their time on the Attention, Interest, and Desire steps.

Take Advantage of Information Overload

Human Behavior has Changed; Most Sales Methods Have Not

Human behavior has changed considerably in the past fifty years.  One of the primary drivers has been Information Overload.  In 1975 it was estimated that the average US citizen was exposed to an average of 200 informational messages a day.  By 1984, after the advent of the personal computer, a joint study by a few universities said it had jumped to 1450 informational messages per day; and more recent estimates are much higher.  The odds are that anything anyone is interested in will have been exposed to them within any given year. 

The average educated person is far more sophisticated now.  Most people have developed automatic sales resistance reactions.  That is why typical cold-calling techniques have become inefficient and warm-calling is becoming effective. 

What has not changed in human nature is that almost everyone makes decisions emotionally and then justifies their decisions with logic.  Yet, almost all selling systems are still based on logical ways of “moving” people’s minds through the Five Step Buying Decision Model (AIDCA = Attention-Interest-Desire-Conviction-Action).  Pretty soon someone will add a P (for Pain) to “modernize” that scheme.  Nevertheless, Needs Selling systems create negative emotional reactions, which then must be overcome before a sale can be made. 

Most of the best salespeople have discovered major sales process improvements that adjust to the new behaviors as follows:

  • They find and make appointments only with prospects who are ready, willing, and able to buy their products and services.
  • They develop deep personal relationships of mutual trust and respect with their prospects during the first meeting.
  • They determine the prospect’s buying intentions and capacity, and their conditions of satisfaction.
  • They arrive at mutual agreements and mutual commitments that culminates in a sale.
  • They temporarily disqualify the prospect at any time during the sales process if they are not committed to getting to a closed sale. 
Human Behavior has Changed; Most Sales Methods Have Not