The first thing we should shoot for is to develop an environment of trust and comfort. Many of us can naturally create a comfortable environment but what about a trusting one? Truth be told, we are strangers, meeting for the first time. They don’t know us and we don’t know them. How do we set a trusting environment for the rest of a sales call? Trust comes from the truth. Be honest with them. Don’t try any sales gimmicks or lay out every benefit to working with our company. Ease into it. Let them know that we are trying to explore possibilities of working together. Both prospect and sales person need to work together to see if we are a good fit for each other. If we’re both on the same page at the start then trust will develop as we move through the call.Why is it important for sales people to bond with a prospect? It sounds like a stupid question but one that many sales people can’t answer. The fact is that no one ever won a deal because they could bond well with others. It might have helped but it wasn’t the primary reason. So is it worthwhile? The answer almost always is yes. Bonding won’t win us a sale but not bonding will usually lose us the deal. Sales is like poker. Bonding is anteing up. If we don’t do it, we’re not even in the game. We’ve lost before we’ve begun. So plan a strategy for bonding and know what you are trying to accomplish.
The other objective is to establish equal business stature. Often times prospects want to ask questions and we are expected to promptly answer. It’s like parents and children. They demand, we comply. The problem with this model is that we have no control. If we start down this path then our prospect will dictate everything the rest of the way. Unless we want to try a temper tantrum or crying, we can count on having the process dictated to us the rest of the way. Establish an adult relationship. Tell the prospect that you are trying to discover a fit, or not, and that the two of you will have to work together to see if the fit exists.
If we start the call off right and bond effectively with the prospect we begin to establish credibility. Bonding provides the foundation and the rest of the call should build on that initial trust. If we know what we are striving to achieve, have a plan, and execute well then we can usually create a state of credibility by bonding with our prospect.
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