There is an old adage that “people buy from people they trust.” I have found this to be true. Whether I am buying toilet paper for my marketing business or trusting my banker for over 20 years, I buy from people whom I trust.
Trustworthiness is not gained lightly, yet can be smashed in an instant. Fostering business relationships takes time and takes one step at a time. A small thing such as keeping an appointment, regardless of the circumstances, is a trust-building issue. If you value your client’s time, he in turn will value yours.
Face recognition is also so important these days as we undergo a daily onslaught of internet ads, talking heads and flashing banners. It is vital that you develop connections within your community. You have to have face recognition and name recognition. Always have your business card ready and be brave enough to introduce yourself. It is important that your best face be present at the local Chamber meetings, the March of Dimes walk-a-thon or the Homeless Shelter’s fundraiser picnic. Whatever your personal interests may be, develop those interests into a good way to network with other business people as well. This is where trust and friendship can be built.
Keep in mind, in order to have a higher sales close rate, you have to get into the door. An unknown sales rep will have more difficulty getting to the decision-maker. The sales rep who has patiently attempted to do the right things, set the appointments and at least has met the gatekeeper will stand a better chance of getting to see THE decision-maker.
How do you have a higher sales close rate? Many times the final decision is not the cost of the product or service – but it is the trust that has evolved between the principals involved. For instance someone may say: “I believe I will go with Bill Smith’s proposal. Yes, he is a little more costly, but I know that if the machine breaks down, Bill will take care of me.” That, my friend, is trust.
After the sale though, the real work begins. With that in mind quality customer service is something that is becoming rare these days. Business transactions even into the millions of dollars can be won or lost on a prior issue concerning quality customer service. Even if the product or service failed, going the extra mile to make it right and to make it “better than okay” will often salvage the mistake or poor-performing product.