Relational Selling: 3 Ways to Build Trust with Your Buyer

Do you trust me? I hope so. But the far more important question is, does your customer trust you?

Today we’ll talk about relationship selling and how we can quickly build trust with our customers. And I say “very quickly” because your customer wants and needs to trust you right out of the gate.

Without trust, it’s extremely difficult to make a purchase decision. The customer feels totally isolated like they’re on their own. But with trust, they feel like they have an advocate who has their back and is looking out for their best interest.

When you think about the concept of trust, it might be helpful for you to get a picture in your mind of a professional you rely upon. Your physician or attorney or your accountant. How important is it to you to trust the professionals in your life? It’s critical, right? These people are looking after very important aspects of your well-being.

Isn’t that what we do in the world of sales? Why should we not aspire to that same level of trust? I want to share with you three ways to build trust.

Be Nice

Be nice? Yes, that’s the advice. Be nice. I’m not trying to be pithy here. There’s a very important progression that you need to understand. The progression sounds like this nice equals likable. Likable equals trustworthy. Trustworthy equals persuasion. That’s the progression. When I am my nicest self, I am my most likable self.

When we like someone, we tend to trust them. And when we trust them, we are persuaded by them. I have a really nice physician, patient, kind, and understanding. And when she makes a suggestion for my health care, I just follow it, period. Her kindness leads to her likability, which leads to my trust, which means she can easily persuade me because I believe that she’s acting in my best interest. She persuades me to do what is right for me. And that is precisely what you do for your customers.

Make a Service Promise

You can do this in the first minute of the entire conversation. Making a service promise is about easing your customer’s minds by offering a heartfelt and sincere promise to serve them. The approach is uncommon and therefore unexpected, but the impact is really powerful. So a service promise might sound something like this. I tell a customer, “You know, you could have visited anywhere, but you came to my office. I appreciate the opportunity to help and promise to do all I can to make this process as enjoyable as possible. Can I ask you a few quick questions? I want to ensure I’m pointing you in the right direction.”

That’s it. Short and sweet. The key is to deliver it from the heart. Your customer will see right through it if it sounds like a canned speech. So write it out. Practice it. Get it down solid, and then deliver it with passion.

Recap the Customer’s Sentiments

You’ve heard of the technique where you repeat back with the buyer who has shared with you. I suggest you take it to a higher level and recap what the buyer feels. 

What am I talking about here? Let me demonstrate. Suppose the customer says to you, I like our house. I’m just not thrilled about our neighborhood, and I wonder about the area declining over the long run. I’m definitely concerned about the high school my daughter will be starting next year. I just hear bad things.

The factual recap sounds like this. Okay, so you’re like your home, but you’re concerned about your neighborhood and the high school, is that right?

When you recap the sentiment, it sounds like this. I get it; you put a high premium on your quality of life and want to give your daughter the education she deserves. Does that sound right? See, it’s not what they said, it’s what they felt that matters. So practice that with your own customers. Don’t just recap what they say. Recap how they feel.

Those are three ways to build trust. What are yours? Share your answers over on Sales365!

Until next time, learn more to earn more!


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.