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Win a client's trust with these simple steps

The last time you wanted to buy a product or service I bet a search of the Internet was involved. Or maybe you gathered a bunch of brochures from the companies you were considering. Whatever you did, you managed to get the facts.

Yet, the facts you uncovered were secondary to making a purchase decision. Oh sure, the solution you ultimately picked had to have the functionality that met minimum requirements for the job at hand.

Think about it for a second -- you used the details of the service or product to justify the purchase, but only after the fear that drove the decision to move forward was overcome.

It’s the same when people are looking at buying from you. As much as you believe that the features and benefits you offer shine against the competition, the truth is that people decide on emotion and justify with facts.

Trust is the opposite of fear. And no matter how much the functionality seems to be spot on or the price is reduced, you’ll never get to a purchase until the person on the other side of the table or on the other side of the world visiting your website starts to like you and trust your company.

There’s no doubt about it -- building an emotional connection with your audience will noticeably improve your sales. Of course it has to be sincere and honestly reflect you company’s values and brand.

Here’s how you can quickly win a prospect’s trust with a few simple actions.

Don’t try to be all things to all people. “We can solve all of your problems” is as big of a red flag as there is. People will know deep down that you will say anything to make a sale. Focus on your company’s core competencies. When you do what you’re good at, and do it better than anyone else, it’ll show and people will trust you more. Let prospects know how you can best help them -- and how you can’t. And when needed, be prepared to recommend another business that can do what they want -- you may not get their business, but you’ll build trust and they’ll refer you to others.

Ask great questions. In person, on your website, or in an email demonstrate that you have the prospect’s best interests in mind with your questions. Don’t ask overused questions like, “Are you frustrated with …” We’ll sure I’m frustrated and I wish everyone would stop asking me that! Instead, ask questions to establish that you really want to genuinely get to know them better with a two-way dialog. Such as, “What do you want to happen that isn't happening now?” or “Why is it important to you to make a change at this time?”-- or stretch yourself and ask, “What do you see as the greatest risks in making this purchase decision?” Your prospect will appreciate it!"

Gain trust, overcome fear by building a real connection. Give your audience a reason to care about doing business with you. Your story, based on facts wrapped in emotion and placing your prospect in the picture will build a real connection. Aside from catching their attention prospects will start liking you, which will eventually grow into trust. Give prospects a reason to trust you by letting them know why you do what you do and how that helps them -- and by keeping the emphasis on where it matters: them. Your story needs to ring true and say, “We’re driven by a desire to… and are passionate about helping people find solutions that…”

There is nothing more important to a buyer than their problem and the fix for it. But why should they trust you to provide the solution?

Prospects need to feel they can trust your company to have their best interest at heart before they put their money down. If they don’t think that you will deliver on the promises you've made they’ll never buy.

Give prospects the reasons to trust you and your business. Connect with them in an honest way. Build rapport and get them to imagine the impact of not making a decision to go with you and your company versus the results of successfully using your offering. Do this and you will overcome fears, build trust, and make your solution critical to their survival.


Read earlier columns from Florida Trend's business coach, Ron Stein
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Ron Stein is the founder and President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He has more than 20 years experience in sales, marketing, and business development, working positions ranging from salesman to vice president of sales and marketing to CEO of startups with industry leaders such as Motorola, VideoServer, Paradyne, and SercoNet. Ron is a member of the advisory team at the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and startup accelerator for the state of Florida. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com