Trust is key for getting customers to sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, gaining a potential client's confidence is not an easy task. It doesn't help either that there are so many salespeople who use unethical approaches to close deals. This makes the prospect walk into a meeting with you already thinking you're trying to scam them.
This can be frustrating, and it's a problem that you need to be able to solve. Even if the buyer does business with you, not having their trust will cause trouble later on. Lucky for you, there are a few small moves that you can make that will go a long way in gaining your purchaser's confidence and letting you close on deals much faster. Here are some easy ways to get your client from skeptical to trusting.
1. Over-explain any documents you hand out
Sometimes when I hand a contract to a prospect, I'll notice a look of fear that comes over their face. It's as if I just handed over burning coals for them to grab and sign. The reason for this is that some buyers will automatically think there's something hidden in the contract. This causes them to analyze it for weeks, even before they hand it over to their lawyer.
To prevent this, as soon as I hand over a document I make sure that we are completely on the same terms with the deal. The length, price, and other promises have all been discussed and I make sure everything we agreed on is noted. Right after I physically hand over the paperwork, I also ask the purchaser if we can set up a time to go over any questions he or she has. Even if the customer doesn't have any inquiries, they appreciate the fact that I'm upfront and willing to help.
Most of the time, you see salespeople pull out a lengthy contract, push it onto the client and then pressure them to sign as soon as possible. While this may work with repeat prospects, first-time buyers will be much more hesitant. Set the relationship right from the start by offering as much help as you can to explain the contract. Also, a nice touch we do sometimes is highlighting the major points we negotiated. This proves in writing that I am following up on my verbal process, which helps build trust.
2. Use customer testimonials and data
It's easy for anyone to say how great and trustworthy he or she is. What's much more impressive is when you have previous purchasers saying those things. Customer testimonials are a great way to get your customer's confidence because it's proof of your results.
Another great way to get your customer's faith is show them evidence that your product works. If you can, make sure you bring a workable prototype to all sales meetings that your prospects can play with. This makes the technology seem much more real, and you'll gain your buyer's trust that you can deliver. Also, try showing data on proven successes with other customers using your product. When you have an initial meeting with a purchaser, you should be able to find out what metric and goal they want your product to solve. Then see if you have confirmation that your product delivered on that goal with previous customers. If you do, much of the skepticism to trust you will disappear.
3. Have your online presence in check
It's amazing how often I'll go into meetings and a customer will ask me about one of the articles I've written. What's interesting is I can already tell that the client has made up an image of me in their head based on what they've read or seen. While this does help my customer get a better idea of who I am, it also is a huge eye-opener on how important it is to display the online image you want.
If you have a blog, make sure all your posts are appropriate and are a good reflection of you. Your LinkedIn profile should be completely created and up to date. More prospects are using LinkedIn to decide if they want to do business with you, so it's essential that you put your best foot forward.
Also, make sure you have a couple of great recommendations for you personally. I make sure I have reviews of my work on LinkedIn, and buyers have said that they looked at those recommendations before they bought.
Finally, be careful what you're tweeting and allowing to be seen on your Facebook page. While you are a professional now, we've all had those times when we made dumb mistakes when we were young. Customers don't need to see that and you don't need to be posting anything that can put your reputation in jeopardy. By having an impressive and up to date social media presence, you'll appear more like a professional. And when your clients know they are dealing with a professional, it'll be much easier for them to put their trust in you.