Obvious advice, but the hard part is deciding to follow it. There are so many reasons not to. Here are a few:
(Author’s note, for clarity. Why I might decide to do business with someone I don’t really trust.)
- I can’t afford to be picky – there aren’t enough choices out there.
- I don’t trust any of them, so what difference does it make.
- I trust everyone.
- I don’t trust my ability to make decisions about trusting people.
- They offer the lowest price.
- They are the most convenient to work with.
- I’ve been doing it my way for a long time, and nothing really bad has happened so far.
- I’m smart enough to outsmart them, and I know how to keep from being cheated this time.
- I enjoy taking risks.
- I don’t want anyone to think I don’t trust them.
- I am afraid of making a wrong decision about this. (from a comment by Steve Alexander)
There is value in putting your finger on exactly why you don’t want to do something. You have to accept it for what it is, before you have any hope of changing it. And even then, it can be a long process.
If you can think of more reasons you might decide to do business with someone you can’t really trust, please add them in the comments. Thank you.
Most salespeople try to get people to buy from them. If this is the way you want to sell, then your success will depend upon how good you are at persuading and convincing, or at least influencing people. You give them reasons to buy. You focus on their needs and problems and expose vulnerabilities. You use techniques to build rapport and make them like you and trust you. If a sale doesn’t occur, it’s because you failed. Perhaps you weren’t persuasive enough or friendly enough.
In High Probability Selling, we look for and work with people who want what we are selling, and who are likely to buy from us very soon. If this is the way you want to sell, then your success will depend upon how good you are at finding these people, and how good you are at assessing the probability that they will buy from you in the near future. You let prospective customers make their own decisions, for their own reasons and in their own time. You focus on what they want and when. Then you focus on whether you want to do business with them or not. If a sale doesn’t occur, it’s either because they didn’t want what you are selling right now, or because you have decided not to go ahead at this time.
Both strategies have their proponents, and both strategies have successful salespeople. However, they are completely incompatible with each other. You can’t pick and choose elements from each. They just don’t mix.
Everything depends upon what you choose. Just pick one or the other.
Would you trust someone who tried to form a relationship with you solely for the purpose of selling you something?
Many salespeople believe that the key to getting someone to buy is to build a “relationship” first. They are the ones who say “how are you” on a cold call.
Saying “how are you” on a cold call is one of the signs that someone is going to try to get you to buy. You may have noticed that, consciously or unconsciously, and it may affect your decision about whether you will buy from that salesperson or not.
In High Probability Selling, we don’t try to build relationships. Relationships come from doing business, not the other way around.
by Jacques Werth
As new born infants, our survival depends on how well we can manipulate adults, usually our parents, in order to get what we need to thrive. We are instinctively programmed to keep trying all kinds of tactics to get nourishment, comfort, and safety. Fortunately, our parents and most other adults are programmed to respond well to this. We then continue to learn manipulation and persuasion techniques as our lives go on.
By the time we are in our teens, we have been inundated with hundreds of different marketing, advertising, and sales tactics. In response to those tactics, we learn how to resist the techniques that others use on us to try to make us do what they want. This is the origin of sales resistance.
Sales experts are constantly developing new methods intended to negate our sales resistance. However, no matter how subtle or persuasive their methods may be, most people have learned to intuitively sense it when they are being pushed or preyed upon.
Nevertheless, we have to buy stuff that we need and want. Given a choice, we prefer to buy from a person whom we trust. We also want to be trusted by others. It’s not easy to become the kind of salesperson that people feel like trusting. There is so much unlearning to do. However, when we succeed at that we are far happier with our lives.
by Jacques Werth and Carl Ingalls
The belief that “all buyers are liars” is a trap. It sets up the salesperson for failure.
“All buyers are liars” is also a self-perpetuating belief that makes itself true, once you’ve fallen for it. The belief makes you do things that sabotage trust. Salespeople who exaggerate the benefits and ignore the negatives can’t be trusted by their prospects, who often respond by lying about their buying intentions.
However, you don’t hear “all buyers are liars” from the top producing salespeople. They know that they are more likely to get the truth from prospects when they themselves are completely truthful.
Mistrust breeds mistrust. If you think your buyers are liars, they will probably think the same about you.
by Carl Ingalls
Watch your language. Driving is what we do to sheep. Is that how you feel about your customers? If so, it probably shows. If not, then be careful about the language you use, and the messages it sends.
If you don’t respect your customers, and you don’t show this in every detail, you can’t expect them to respect you. Lack of respect leads to lack of trust, and we all know what that does to sales.
by Jacques Werth and Carl Ingalls
It’s harder to trust someone whose first thought is to influence my purchase decision. Even if I can see that they only want to steer me toward something they think will be good for me, I know that they are not focused on listening to what I want, and that it’s going to be a time-consuming transaction at best. If I wanted their help in making a purchase decision, I would ask for it.
Trust takes more than just good intentions. Knowing that someone’s intention is to persuade me to go with something that they believe will be better for me is not enough, and especially if they haven’t listened. Many terrible things have been done by people with good intentions. I also need to trust in their ability to hear me well, and also in their ability to make good judgments based upon what they hear. If they start out with anything at all that suggests a desire to influence me, then they have failed on both of those counts.
I would rather do business with someone who listens to what I want and helps me get it, than with someone who wants to change my mind.