The sales game doesn't have to be complicated. We tend to make it so by constantly looking for new strategies for closing the deal. Yet any experienced sales professional with a track record of success can tell you that sales boil down to one simple thing: trust. Converting prospects into paying customers requires gaining their trust.
For the record, this does not mean gaining trust so you can sell prospects something they do not need. It means gaining their trust for the sole purposes of meeting their needs. There is a big difference. If gaining trust is one of your goals, here are five ways to do it:
1. Listen More Than You Speak
It is easy to go into a meeting already assuming to know what the prospect needs. This is absolutely the wrong approach. If you want to gain a prospect's trust, you have to assume you have no idea what the need might be. This will force you to listen more than you speak. Understand that listening is key to building trust. Why would a prospect trust you if you are not willing to take the time to find out what they need?
2. Make the Conversation About Them
Every interaction you have with a prospect should be about them. Maybe you are working with an employer diving into the benefits pool for the first time. Every conversation is an opportunity to get to know that employer better. The more you make the conversation about them, the better equipped you will be to meet their needs. In the end, that's what this is about.
3. Communicate Like an Advocate
The one thing about sales that turns prospects off is the sales mindset. Prospects do not want to hear you constantly pitching products. They do not want to hear you continually singing the praises of your insurance carriers as though every package you offer is flawless. No, what they want is an advocate interested in helping them find the best benefits for their employees.
The more you communicate as an advocate, the more you communicate that you can be trusted. Take every opportunity to let prospects know that you are in their corner; that you will work tirelessly to find them the perfect benefits package. Advocates are always more trustworthy than sales associates.
4. Be Prepared to Answer Questions
One of the worst things you can do is go into a meeting with a prospect unprepared to answer questions. Questions and answers are normally a big part of that initial meeting and going in unprepared only tells the prospect that you are not putting a whole lot of effort into your new relationship.
Understand that being prepared does not mean having every possible answer to every possible question. It means anticipating the types of questions you'll be asked and going in with as many answers as possible. In the event you don't have an answer, there is no need to make something up. Instead, you admit you don't know and commit to following up after you find the answer yourself.
5. Make Eye Contact
Finally, it is important to make eye contact with your prospects. Do not speak to the floor or look past a prospect to what's going on outside the window. Making eye contact makes the type of connection your prospects need. Eye contact shows them that you are present in the conversation.
Sales isn't complicated. It has never been complicated. Sales is all about building trust with your prospects to the degree that they know what you are offering is exactly what they need. That's it in a nutshell.