How to build customer trust when selling

In any personal interaction there is some relationship.

It could be good, bad or indifferent, but there is a relationship.

Velcro might be the only thing more mysterious than building relationships, but one thing is certain, selling depends on the relationship between the buyer and the seller.

The probability of a sale being made moves up or down in direct proportion to the strength of the relationship.

How to put this into action

  1. Show you are more interested in understanding the customer than you are in selling your product or service.
  2. The best way to do this is to ask questions until you are certain that the customer is certain you thoroughly understand the depth and breadth of his or her needs.
  3. Trust must be established in the mind of the buyer before any purchasing decision will be considered.
  4. You can have the cheapest price on the best product in the world, but if customers don't trust you, all you have is are reasons for no sale.

Why is sales process re-engineering your next step to building customer trust?

Following an initial introduction, does your sales process start with an in depth customer qualification?

  • If it does … does your customer qualification include establishing your potential customer’s operational and financial constraints?
  • If you have answered no to both questions, we suggest you should consider re-engineering your sales process because they probably do not include a process to build trust. What does qualifying a customer’s operational constraints mean?
  • All goods or services must satisfy the potential customer’s requirements.

Example 1.

Our Hidden Profit Discovery Tool must be able to build the trust of the user by identifying the red lights that restrict or prevent a businesses profit making process … which it does, by ONLY asking shrewd, commercially focused questions. 

Example 2.

I recently purchased a new washing machine. I had very specific requirements in that it must have a 1600 spin speed, it must be very quiet, it must have easy to use controls, it must cost less than £800 delivered and fitted and it must be available immediately.

In an ideal world, I would have preferred to buy British and been constructed in a stainless steel type finish. I could find one that was British made that matched my requirements and I could only find a white one.

Whilst doing the research on-line, I matched all my must have’s and made the purchase on-line all within 10 minutes for less than my budget with the added bonus of a 5 year guarantee on parts and labour.

In short I trusted what this company was saying on their website.

What does qualifying a customer’s financial constraints mean?

This is where MOST sales people go wrong. For some strange reason, many salespeople think that it is not appropriate to take about money/budget early in the sales process.

Let me give you a real life example:

I recently wanted to purchase a gift for my daughters 31st Birthday and I needed a high quality birthday card.

I was unsure of where to find a high quality card and a friend suggested Thornton’s. So I visited my local shop.

On arrival (never having visited before) a lady walked up to me asked, “you look like you need some help” I immediately said I need a high quality birthday card for my daughter and the lady replied “ oh yes come with me and let’s see what you like” so I followed.

She asked some more qualifying questions such as “do you want something humorous … or traditional … “ I said nothing humorous more classy” she then asked are you concerned about prices?” … no was my response.

Within moments she had helped me select the right card … and then asked “what about a present? Have you sorted that out yet? No, I replied and I said perhaps a nice box of chocolates.

The lady walked me to a fabulous display of chocolate boxes ranging from £5 - £50. I instantly found something appropriate and we both walked to the checkout. The lady then asked if I would like the box of chocolates gift wrapped … yes please … I then gave her my credit card and said but you haven’t charged me for gift wrapping … “there is no charge for you sir”

Had I been showed a typical supermarket type selection of birthday cards I would not have made a purchase and I certainly did not want to buy a typical box of chocolates.

I left thinking … wow I will go there again.

Another real life example.

The last time I bought as house every estate agent I visited asked my budget to which my response was £x,xxx a month plus £xx,xxx cash … and everybody replied “what does that mean?

You see, I had realised that the overall prices of my next house was irrelevant, I need to buy a house or rather a bungalow with a big garden, secure drive and space for a separate office at the bottom of the garden … and all within my budget and because I need a mortgage it was the monthly payments that I was more focused on.

Also, I did not want to even look at properties that were outside my budget, something that every estate agent I had visited had attempted to do.

After 5 days I was extremely frustrated, most were hostile that I would not follow their process, every property the attempted to show me a flyer about did not satisfy my operation constraints and nobody followed me up.

How could I possibly trust any of the estate agents I had visited because they did not ask the right questions and ignored everything I had asked for.

A good friend telephoned me about a private sale advertised in a newspaper, I called the number, in less than one hour I was on the premises and an hour later we had shook hands on a deal. 14 days later I moved in.

The moral of this story is … why do people buy things? … the answer is because they are not sold to professionally … and in most cases, they never trust salespeople because they are all tell and no ask.

It is very rare in the UK for a potential customer to experience a professional qualification.

A professional sales process MUST include a comprehensive qualification or discovery process and in so doing build the trust of the customer.

Our master class entitled Understand The Customers Buying Motives explains in great detail why asking qualifying questions builds the trust of the customer. (click here to find out more)


To find out more
Contact Harry Le-Moine
01772 426 135 or 07590 279 395 or Email (
click here)

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