Prospects won't become your customers until they believe three things.
1-That your solutions will solve their problems.
2-That you can deliver the value and solutions you've promised.
3-That if things don't go as planned or the project fails they've minimized the professional risks to them and the business risks to the company.
Here are the three keys ways to increase your prospects trust and reduce their risk:
Help Your Prospects Make a Better Decision
Buying decisions are becoming more complex for enterprise sales. In the past salespeople and the vendors they worked for provided information but in the last 20+ years buyers research their options before contacting vendors.
According to The Gartner Group, a typical complex buying decision requires 6-10 people involved in the decision process each with 4-5 pieces of independently researched information.
This complexity introduces significant friction and slows down the buying process without necessarily improving the purchasing decision or outcomes.
Vendors are positioned to potentially understand their customers problems more deeply and completely than the buyers because they understand the issues and solutions more fully.
Helping buyers act in their own best self-interest builds is the fastest way to build trust with them.
Help them do their jobs better by-
1- Identifying key issues that were missed or incompletely addressed.
2-Step them into the consequences of not addressing these issues.
3-Facilitate a conversation where they ask you to show them how to address the missed issues.
For example, almost all RFP's (Request for Proposals) address technical requirement but few if any address the business results of a successful project.
Point out the risk of a failed project to the business and help your prospect include the business needs in the outcome of the project.
Understand - Make Sure You Get it Right
Almost everyone you meet responds and talks without really stopping to confirm that they have understood what the other person has said.
Take a moment to let this sink in.
Typically people respond to what they think they've heard, not what the other persons intent.
I propose you validate what you heard and what the speaker intended before answering.
This is especially important in complex and/or high consequence sales situations.
Have a bias towards being accurate (instead of being right).
Before you respond feed back to people what you believe you heard them say. "I think what I heard you say is . . ." "Did I understand you correctly?)
People will trust you because they know you're listening.
In addition, you'll gain a more accurate picture of your sales situation, your customers needs and the most effective actions that will advance the sale.
One way to reduce or remove risk is to guarantee your work, in writing.
Guarantee demonstrate confidence in your ability to deliver solutions to your customers, signals that you and your firm have integrity, and reduces the professional risk to the buyer and the business risk to the company.
There are lots of ways to guarantee your work other than returning the money.
One way is to guarantee results and outcomes by agreeing to work with a customer until they achieve them. There are many other ways to guarantee your work.
Deals aren't won on trust and risk alone. Building trust and de-risking deals for your customers removes friction from the buying process and makes it easier for your customers to choose you!
What are the best ways you've found to increase trust and reduce risk to win more deals? Please share your thoughts in the comments!