Are you an expert sales professional who gets treated with the same amount of respect by prospects as a phony used car salesperson? If so, then you’ve come to the right place, as I’m sharing B2B sales techniques that’ll change the game for you.
The likely reason why you feel that potent taste of disrespect is because prospects don’t trust you. Unfortunately, unless you get prospects to trust you, your odds of converting them into paying customers are slim.
That said, I’m sharing 9 B2B sales techniques that’ll help instill a prospect’s trust in you, your sales team, and your product or service to deliver what they need!
Unless you get prospects to trust you, then:
- Deals will consistently fail;
- Prospects will ghost you; and
- Your reputation as a sales pro will sink.
Rather than putting yourself in the phony used car salesperson league, elevate yourself out to close more deals in less time with these straightforward trust-building techniques!
Why Do Prospects Put so Much Weight on Trust?
Whenever a potential B2B customer is looking to solve a pain point, they seek out sales reps who have a product or service that’ll solve the problem. Not only that, but perhaps more importantly, they seek out sales reps whom they see as capable of forming a solid customer-supplier relationship.
That said, strong customer relationships are crucial to B2B sales success. And, just like with any type of relationship, trust is absolutely critical. If one or both parties don’t trust the other, then it’s game over.
Hence, why the phony used car salespeople never get taken seriously!
Furthermore, here are the key reasons why B2B customers put so much weight on trusting relationships with their potential suppliers.
They Don’t Understand Their Own Pain Points
First off, your prospects don’t understand what their pain points are or how to solve them. If they did, then they would have already fixed them!
While prospects might not show off the fact that they don’t know what to do, deep down they know that they don’t understand how to rid their business of its problems. As a result, they feel vulnerable.
Because they feel vulnerable, they seek out expert B2B salespeople who will ease that internal feeling of vulnerability while getting the job done. More specifically, the types of salespeople whom they seek out are the most trustworthy of the bunch.
The Prospect’s Vision Is at Stake
If you’re driving on the highway and suddenly blow out a tire, that’s your pain point. But solving that pain point has a bigger purpose: You didn’t just get in the car to drive around. Instead, you were on your way to a destination, and blowing out your tire stands in the way between where you are now and where you want to be!
Similarly, your prospect’s pain point stands in the way of their final destination. By final destination, I’m talking about that ultimate vision they’re trying to manifest through their business. Unless they solve that pain point, reaching that final destination is virtually impossible.
Therefore, whenever a prospect tasks a sales team with solving a particular problem, what they’re really doing is putting their vision’s fate in the hands of the sales team. If the team can’t solve their pain point, then the prospect will never get to that final destination.
Can’t you see how that requires a significant amount of trust?
Prospects Are Naturally Loss-Averse
Humans are biologically wired to be loss averse, and your prospects are no exception to that rule.
In a prospect’s mind, losing $100 is more emotionally impactful than an equivalent gain; therefore, they avoid potential losses like the plague.
Because they try to avoid losses, they avoid taking risks. However, prospects MUST take a chance in order to solve a pain point that is out of their means to solve.
Whenever a prospect puts the fate of their pain point in your hands, it feels like a significant risk to them, regardless of how full-proof your solution is. And unfortunately, this hard-wired loss aversion is nearly impossible to unwire.
You must gain the trust of your prospect’s hard-wired, loss-averse mind. While you’ll never be able to 100% unwire their mind, you do need to make use of the techniques you have to gain their trust and override those biologically installed wires.
The Psychological Role That Trust Plays in B2B Sales Strategy
Have you ever asked yourself how surgeons are able to gain so much trust from their patients that they’re willing to go under anesthesia and be operated on by a person whom they’ve only had a relationship with for, perhaps, a couple of weeks?
Moreover, how do surgeons build such a trusting relationship with their patients in such a short amount of time?
The truth is that doctors gain such a trusting relationship in such a short amount of time because they constantly portray themselves as an absolute expert at what they do. Everything that they do and the way that they do it spews expertise. As a result, patients almost instantly trust the surgeon with their lives.
Just like how surgeons are able to build such trusting relationships in such a short amount of time with their patients, you need to do the same! To do so, you need to carry yourself like the expert you are. Thankfully, this is what each of the 9 techniques below are designed to do.
If you implement these 9 techniques, you’re going to portray yourself as somebody prospects can’t afford to live without. As a result, they’ll almost instantly put their trust in you.
Bottom line: Trust is essential because prospects seek out supplier-customer relationships with EXPERTS!
Here Are 9 B2B Sales Techniques to Build Trust With Leads
It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is or how fantastic of a sales pro you are if you can’t get prospects to trust you. Because if they don’t trust you, then they certainly won’t buy from you. If they don’t buy from you, then you lose and they don’t get the solution they need to solve their pain point.
So without further ado, use these 9 selling techniques to foster a trusting relationship with your potential customers by elevating yourself to expert status!
1. Connect With Decision-Makers Right Away
First things first: When you’re doing lead generation, who are you making your cold calls and emails to? Is it somebody low on the food chain at your target B2B companies, or is it the person at the top of the food chain?
If you want to start immediately building trust with prospects, then you must be connecting with the people at the top of the food chain. By people at the top, I’m talking about individuals who have the authority to make buying decisions at your target companies.
Think of it like this: Going directly to the people with purchasing decision authority is bold. When you act boldly, prospects are more likely to take you seriously. Because they see that you’re serious about helping them, they’re more likely to trust you.
Not only will making your cold calls and emails directly to the decision-makers help increase trust with the potential customer, but it’ll also help speed up the entire B2B sales cycle.
2. Ask More Questions and Listen to Objections
Have you ever encountered somebody who talked without letting you get a single word in? Didn’t something about the situation turn you off? Did it feel like a wall was suddenly erected between you and that person who made it difficult to trust them?
Oftentimes, people who talk without ever letting you get a word in talk because they’re trying to hide something. For example, they’re trying to hide the fact that they’re nervous, so they talk a lot hoping that their words distract from the fact that they’re nervous.
While they might not have a malicious intention, the fact that they speak 100% of the time inevitably puts up a wall. Because they’re surrounded by a wall, it’s difficult to trust them.
It makes a person think to themself, “Why would this person hide behind a wall unless they’re trying to hide something?”
That said, break down those walls by simply saying less. Instead of talking, ask more questions and then let prospects have the floor.
People who are trustworthy don’t have anything to hide. Show prospects that you don’t have anything to hide by giving them the floor to speak and object if they want to.
Show Prospects That You Have Nothing to Hide
Instead of putting up walls by talking all the time, show prospects that you have nothing to hide by letting them have the floor.
To give them the floor, ask targeted questions regarding their pain point, listen respectfully, ask any follow-up questions, and then address objections to your answer if they are made.
By doing so, those walls surrounding you will fall, which will reinforce the prospect’s trust in you.
If you’re afraid that letting the prospects ask questions and object will throw you off, know that it's much better not to have the perfect answer than it is to avoid letting prospects talk altogether.
3. Share Case Studies on Social Media
As much as everybody hates to admit it, we all take cues from social media on what to believe. For example, if our favorite influencer recommends a specific product, we’re more likely to trust that the product is effective because it’s coming from them.
This psychological phenomenon is better known as social proof. It’s when we take cues from other people on what to do or believe, and it’s extremely powerful. It often raises that all-too-familiar internal feeling of FOMO!
Think about it: How many times have all your friends been doing something and you decided to do it too, not because you necessarily wanted to, but because you wanted to feel more included in the group?
While there are positive and negative ways to use social proof, you can positively use it to build trust with prospects by sharing case studies of current customer success stories on your LinkedIn page. By doing so, social proof will increase a prospect’s trust in you.
Suddenly, the prospect will have undeniable proof from the social world that you’re good at what you do. As a result, they’re more likely to put their trust in you.
Show Prospects How Much You Care About Their Success
Not only does sharing a current customer success story prove through social proof that you’re capable of solving a particular pain point, but it also demonstrates that you care about your customer’s success.
Once a prospect sees you sharing a current customer’s success story, they’ll think to themself, “Not only does this person clearly know how to help their customers, but they also seem to take joy in their customer’s success.”
That double whammy of trust reinforced through social proof plus evidence that you care deeply about your customers will make you nearly irresistible.
4. Add Value to Your Customer’s Buying Process
Would you ever trust somebody who tried to take something from you without ever giving you something first? Hopefully not!
Despite that fact, many B2B sales teams consistently try to extract value from their potential customers before giving them anything valuable first. As a result, prospects don’t see any reason to trust them.
For example, salespeople will make cold calls to prospects asking them to set up a formal sales meeting. However, they don’t ever offer something valuable to the prospect if they follow through with the meeting. As a result, prospects are left with a “what’s in it for me?”’, kind of feeling.
If you want prospects to trust you, then every sales encounter must add value to their buying process. Unless that happens, they’ll see you as a leach who’s just trying to take what they want and leave!
Create Valuable Marketing Content
You might be thinking, “How can I offer something valuable to a prospect before delivering my product or service?”
The truth is that you don’t need to bend over backward to add value to a prospect’s life. Instead, small gestures will make all the difference!
I suggest putting out valuable marketing content that specifically addresses your target customer’s most common pain points.
For example, if your ideal customers have pain points regarding making sales calls and you just so happen to sell a cold call training program, create blog posts or webinars that shed some light on how prospects can start cleaning up their cold call act.
Get with your marketing team to put together a content marketing strategy that addresses your target market’s top pain points and gives them valuable insights. That way, they’ll get the value they need in exchange for the sales meetings you need to secure.
5. Open the Communication Floor
How often does this happen to you: You send a text message to a friend or significant other. Instead of getting a response in a reasonable amount of time, you’re met with radio silence. Suddenly, your mind jumps to the worst: are they mad at you, or are they ignoring you because they don’t want you to know what they’re currently doing?
Similarly, if you don’t communicate with prospects in a timely manner, their mind is also going to jump to the worst. The more their mind jumps to the worst, the less trust there is in the relationship.
But what exactly constitutes a timely manner?
As a rule of thumb, always get back to your prospect’s phone calls, emails, and messages within 24 hours. If you know that you’ll be away for more than 24 hours and won’t be able to respond, be sure to let them know so that they don’t think the worst!
Prospects Have a Worst-Case Scenario Mindset
Just like how humans are biologically wired to be loss-averse, humans are also biologically wired with a worst-case scenario mindset.
The reason why we think in terms of the worst case is because our minds are designed to be on the constant lookout for danger. Even if there isn’t necessarily a legitimate threat around, our minds will still perceive situations as such for the sake of avoiding potential risk.
You can’t totally rewire your prospect's loss-averse mindset, so instead of trying to do the impossible, simply focus on effective communication.
No, you don’t need to have your email open 24/7, but you do need to keep in mind that prospects will default to that worst-case scenario mind if they stop hearing from you over an extended period.
6. Always Be Accountable for Your Words
Everybody has heard the saying, “you need to be accountable for your actions.” But, not many people have heard the phrase, “you need to be accountable for your words.”
To be accountable for your words means to say something and then follow through with what you say.
For example, if you say that you’re going to address a prospect’s concerns over email by the following day, you do it.
Perhaps the simplest way to lose trust in B2B selling is by not being accountable for your words. Not only that, but failing to be accountable for your words is also the easiest way to lose respect.
Therefore, always be accountable for your words by setting realistic standards for yourself and sticking to them. Instead of promising the moon, promise what it is within your power and deliver.
In the end, prospects will trust and respect you for delivering what you said you would deliver.
7. Stop Sending Free Proposals
The business-to-business sales process is about understanding prospects so that you can frame your sales approach to fit their specific needs.
While this is common knowledge, most sales teams don’t act on this common knowledge.
By that, I mean that they make the B2B selling process all about themselves! Literally, during every sales meeting, all they do is talk about themselves instead of getting to know the prospects.
Perhaps the most egregious way they do this is by sending out free initial proposals to prospects without getting to know their specific needs first. It’s as if they say, “Hey, I’m here to help you solve your pain point, but before we get into that, here’s all about me and what I can do!”.
The moment you send a free proposal is the moment you make selling all about YOU. The moment you make selling all about YOU is the moment prospects lose trust in you.
Don’t Make the B2B Sales Process All About You
If all somebody ever does is talk about themselves, why would you trust them? Especially when their entire purpose is supposed to help you solve your pain point.
If you wouldn’t trust a friend who only talks about themselves, then don’t expect your prospects to trust you if all you talk about is YOU.
8. Fill Your Sales Pipeline With High-Quality Leads
Certain leads are more likely to trust you than others. The ones who are naturally most likely to trust you are qualified leads—specifically the ones who fit your ideal customer profile and ideal buyer persona.
Instead of filling your sales pipeline with lower-grade leads who generally aren’t a good fit for you, only target those who are of the highest quality. These high-quality leads are more likely to trust you because you align with them on many different levels, not to mention that they have a pain point you are capable of solving.
Instead of sabotaging yourself by filling the pipeline with low-quality leads, shoot for the qualified ones who are naturally the most likely to trust in you.
9. Trust Yourself
Are you more likely to trust somebody who clearly trusts in themself or somebody who doesn’t appear to trust themself at all?
Of course, you’re going to trust the person who appears to trust themself. The reason: If a person demonstrates that they trust in themself, then it’s only natural to see them as confident. Whenever somebody is more confident, they automatically look more capable and worthy of trust to get a job done.
On the other hand, if a person clearly doesn’t trust in themself, then there’s little to no reason to assume that they’re confident. Because they aren’t confident, they automatically appear less capable and trustworthy in getting a job done.
It’s like the old saying goes, “Nobody will trust in you unless you trust in yourself first!"
While not every old saying holds true, this one does!
Getting other people to trust you starts with inner work. You can use all the other techniques to increase a prospect’s trust, but if you don’t believe in you, then they’ll all lose their potency.
Final Thoughts on Techniques to Build Trust With Potential Customers
Instead of joining the leagues of the world's phoniest used car salespeople, do yourself a favor and elevate yourself to expert status by fostering a trusting relationship between you and your prospects. Without trust, the deal can’t go anywhere!
As I said, it doesn’t matter how much of a professional you are if you can’t get prospects to trust you. Regardless of what you say or do, the deal will always fall through.
If you were a B2B buyer, would you put the fate of your business in somebody you didn’t trust? Hopefully not!
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