Building trust concept

From building up a strong volume of leads to not being discouraged by failure, there are many basic fundamentals to successful sales. When it comes to improving one's chances of closing a deal however, having the perfect pitch and understanding a client's needs can only go so far if the buyer doesn't have a personal rapport with the salesperson. As highlighted by Mike Schulz of Rain Group, one of the most important approaches to remember in sales is the foundation of trust, and how salespeople can sabotage themselves by jumping right into a pitch with intense persuasion techniques before getting to know the buyer.

In order to build that foundation, Schulz outlines multiple key factors including capability, dependability, and intimacy:

1. Capability. When it comes to the purchasing process, sellers tend to be a lot more confident in their abilities than the buyer, sometimes to the point of delusion. The salesperson needs to anticipate a healthy dose of skepticism from a first-time buyer, and be mindful of how they can present themselves as authentic. The simplest starting point is being an expert on the subject. While easier said than done, no buyer will want to buy from a seller if they can't answer basic questions on the industry, the market place, and what competition the buyer faces — even if the product potentially being sold can actually be of use. Additionally, providing a concrete model showing return on investment (ROI) can go a long way toward closing their sale. Based off Rain Group research, however, just 16 percent of end users indicated salespeople excel at doing this. 

2. Dependability. When a buyer gets burned on a deal in which they were guaranteed one set of services but received something different, it can be incredibly difficult to give out second chances — even if the new salesperson had nothing to do with the aforementioned deal. In order to build trust, Schulz recommends indicating ideas that may not maximize profit for the seller but could be in the buyer's best interest — which can include recommending options that aren't as pricy, or deciding to not sell the product altogether because it isn't the right fit. This could lead to short-term loss, but long term gain for both trust and profitability. 

3. Intimacy. In addition to showing dependability, a proven method for gaining trust includes creating shared experiences with the customer. This includes interactive experiences, such as golf outings in which the seller and potential buyer are simply enjoying each other's time. In virtual settings, opportunities to collaborate include shared documents in which both sides can craft their ideas for why a product could be a good fit. 

Read the complete breakdown from Schulz here. In related news, check out this piece outlining six tips for how to ask for the sale