7. How do you build credibility with your customers?

"If you say “You get me,” you have a good opportunity to prove it.  Building credibility during the sales process can make or break the sale – many times it is what the decision is based on."

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Many years ago the 3M Company sent researchers to study the top sales people in the company.   Their assignment was to find the EXACT WORDS these sales people used to gain the trust of the potential customer.

After hundreds of interviews the researchers found that these top sales people used 5 phrases to gain confidence.

After the information was discovered the sales managers were instructed to have every sales person in the entire organization memorize these five powerful concepts.

At sales meetings they would randomly select a sales person and ask them to recite one of the phrases.  They continued this program until it was a habit used by every sales person.

Needless to say, their sales reflected the use of the program.

Here they are:

1.   “You get me.  When you buy from The 3M Company you have to take me as part of the deal.  I go with the package.  And if you don’t think I can make a difference – try me.”

2.   “Before I answer I want to make sure I understand what you are saying.”

3.   “If, at any time during this interview, I give you the feeling I am more interested in what I get out of this than I am in what you get out of it, just ask me to leave, I deserve it.”

4.   “I know how you feel, others have felt the same way, but after they tried it for the trial period they found it more than met their expectations.”

5.   “If this makes sense, is there any reason why we can’t get started right now?”

Building trust is always the most important part of the sales process – especially when your competitors have most of the same products you have.

When a prospect is considering a new vendor you are one of several competitors. You present, others present, and buyers take their time to make the decision. Throughout this kind of sale, from the first call to the final presentation, building credibility plays a big role.

If you say “You get me,” you have a good opportunity to prove it.  Building credibility during the sales process can make or break the sale – many times it is what the decision is based on.  And especially when there is time between asking for the business and getting the order, it is important to stay close to your customer. Telephone calls, letters, or personal visits can put you ahead of less attentive competitors.

Many salespeople are poor at taking care of this type of detail. Credibility is also a success factor after the sale to keep the business. Call or visit in between deliveries to find out how things are going.

Meeting and exceeding customer expectations will allow you to move up from vendor to partner.

How well you deliver on your sales promise will build your reputation with your customer and his or her colleagues.

Consider yourself successful if you learn in time that things are not going well. Credibility plays an important role, once the sale is in place, to help insure nothing goes wrong. After the sale, make sure it's not your last order with this customer.

One of the best ways to gain credibility with a prospect is to promise to do something-and then do it.


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