Tag: trusted adviser

Does your prospect trust you, your company, and your product?

Does your prospect trust you, your company, and your product?

More than your understanding of your customer’s needs and goals, your top priority in sales is to have your prospect trust you. In fact, your prospect needs to do more than just trust you personally – your prospect needs to trust you, your company, and your product.

It is possible that generating trust is the most important thing that you need to deliver. Let’s face it; you already believe that the combination of you, your company, and your product is a superior offering to your competitor, your competitor’s company, and your competitor’s product. You need to convince your prospect that they should trust your opinion that your trifecta of the three is superior to all of your competitors.

This is not easy. You may have to go to great lengths to engender that trust. You may have to prove the financial stability of your company. You may need to prove that your company has excellent support. You may have to prove the applicability of your product to your prospect’s needs. There is almost no end to the number of things you may have to prove to your prospect.

What you definitely do not want to spend too much time on is that you are a trustworthy person.

It is easy to undermine that you provide value. Proving that you are not a liar is not easy. For you to show that you are not a jerk can seem easy, but in reality is difficult to do. It only takes one slip up to destroy your credibility. All you have to do is:

  • Tell one lie.
  • Offer one misleading truth.
  • Exaggerate just once.
  • Make one inappropriate comment.
  • Look unkept and disheveled once.
  • Miss one commitment.

That is all it takes. One slip up and you could be relegated entirely to untrustworthiness. It is simple. It is easy. You screwed up, and now you depend on your product and your company to beat out your competitor’s trifecta of his company, product, and salesperson. This reputational damage is a huge disadvantage. Your inability to engender trust in yourself puts your entire sales effort at risk.

Being a salesperson is extremely difficult, and this is one one of the biggest reasons for failure. You blew it. You proved that you were not trustworthy. Sure you can blame your company, your product, or your prospect, but in reality, it is your fault. You were not on your best behavior at all times. You may not even have noticed that the prospect stopped trusting you. Most of our prospects are just too polite to tell you that they question your trustworthiness.

How do you fix this problem? Simple. DON’T!!!!! Don’t put yourself in the position of not being trustworthy. Don’t allow the prospect to think that you are not fantastic.

  • Don’t ever lie.
  • Don’t ever tell a misleading truth.
  • Don’t exaggerate.
  • Don’t ever make an inappropriate comment.
  • Don’t look disheveled.
  • Don’t break a commitment.

You should ALWAYS be on your best behavior. Don’t screw up. Yes, this is hard, but it is the easiest way to fail as a salesperson. Destroying your reputation with the prospect is the easiest way for you to eliminate yourself from consideration and not to eliminate your competition.

Image courtesy of LicenseAttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by torbakh
Is it unethical to change the configuration? Dilbert thinks so!

Is it unethical to change the configuration? Dilbert thinks so!

Is it unethical to change the configuration of a solution to ensure that a customer has a greater chance to be a success?

Dilbert is describing a common problem. Customers often think that an unethical salesperson is leaving things off of a bid to win the deal. The unethical strategy is to update the configuration or deployment after winning the order. This updated configuration is more expensive than the original bid, but the customer will not be successful without it.

While it is convenient to make fun of unethical salespeople for this problem, it is not always the salesperson’s fault. Frequently, it is the prospect that wrote an unrealistic or unworkable request. In this case, the lack of knowledge of the prospect significantly contributes the problem. The prospect refuses to take good advice from the professional salesperson and then complains when the salesperson refuses to accept a bad configuration for the order.

There is an old adage that the customer is always right. Unfortunately, in the world of B2B sales, the customer rarely is correct. The customer simply is not educated enough in the technology or market of the product being evaluated. In contrast, the salesperson is a professional and has gone through this process dozens if not hundreds of times. While I am not suggesting that the customer sit back and let the salesperson run amok, it may be better than an uneducated prospect leading the way.

The best solution is that the prospect learns to trust the professional and ethical salesperson. Dilbert is not the trusting sort, so I am not surprised that the salesperson took advantage of him. This lack of trust is unfortunate as sales professionals have a great deal of wisdom to offer a prospect.

While it is unethical to intentionally leave off required additional configuration items just to be the lowest priced proposal, few professional salespeople will use that strategy. Instead, it is usually a case of giving the prospect the configuration that is requested. If the salesperson tries to do the right thing, the competition may undercut the price. A much wiser approach is for the Dilberts of the world to work with their professional salesperson to make sure the request is complete and, therefore, the configuration is correct.