“Chala, I didn’t ask for the next appointment in my meeting with the corporate buyer because we’re just getting to know each other. That’s how I’ve always built trust with prospects” said my client who had hired me to double her sales and half her sales cycles. That’s when I realized that she’s not the only who has come to me with this excuse in the past. Many clients were otherwise persuaded (much to their profit) about the falsehood of this notion that you have to spend copious time meeting with prospects over months and years to finally get them to purchase something from you. Do you need to build trust to sell? Yes. Do you need to build it over a long period of time? No.
Here’s why the “Slow Trust Building to Sell” theory is a crock in my book:
You Can Sell To Someone Very Quickly
I’ve sold my coaching to people I’ve met in bathroom lineups, at Starbucks lineups and on the plane in the seat next to me. All I had to do is 1. establish what they wanted 2. ask why they didn’t/couldn’t get it 3. ask them the cost of never getting it and 4. tell them how I thought I could help. That’s all it took and sometimes, this discussion took less than 15 minutes. Not 15 meetings. Not 15 months. If you structure the conversation correctly, you can move a prospect very quickly into urgency without spending a lifetime in building trust.
You Can Build Trust in Different Ways
The quality and caliber of your questions, the depth and interest with which you listen to people and the examples you give of other people you’ve helped in the same pain are just some of the ways that you can immediately build trust. Granted, some people by nature will want to check your references and want to research you a bit more but remember that the decision has already been made by their emotions and their rationale just needs more time to catch up. It is a total crock to say that it takes time to build trust to make a sale.
Building Trust Is Just An Excuse
I’ve had clients argue with me until they were blue in the face about whether any meeting with a prospect is for selling or just a ‘getting-to-know-you’ meet and greet. People are busy. They are multitasking like crazy, juggling burning balls up high in the air. They don’t have the time or the need to make more friends to fit into their lives. They are looking at you to bring solutions. If you don’t have the self-confidence and the training to clarify the crux of their problem, and co-create the solution together in the room, and then to quote a price to get the lay of the land about the prospect’s budget in that initial first meeting, you’re missing a huge opportunity to shorten your buying cycle. Scheduling fruitless meeting after meeting helps neither you nor the prospect. It just prolongs the agony for both of you and is just an excuse you make to yourself (and to your coach) to get out of taking control of the meeting.
So I hope you will no longer use the “I can’t ask for the sale or talk about money or present a solution in my first meeting because I have to slowly build trust first” excuse because I really do think it’s a load of crock.
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