Build Trust With Prospects From the Very Beginning

BY Jessica Helinski
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Salespeople know they need to build trust with a prospect. Each step of a buyer's journey should include trust-​building efforts from the rep to create a solid foundation for a future relationship (and help nudge along a deal). Today’s buyers, though, are increasingly wary: G2’s Brittany K. King calls it a “crisis of trust.” 

How can salespeople overcome this challenge? King shares some buyer insights and tips that help you establish trust every step of the way with a prospect. 

Understand the journey to build trust

First and foremost, a seller won’t be able to take advantage of each trust-​building opportunity if they lack understanding of the buyer’s journey. While SalesFuel extensively covers this topic, the following is a quick breakdown of the stages: 

  1. Awareness 
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision
  4. Nurture

Note that these journeys evolve as buyer preferences change. And, each stage is impacted by these shifts. For example, buyers are increasingly doing their own research—before even speaking with a vendor. They are coming to the discussion with knowledge that past buyers didn’t have, which changes the “Awareness” stage.

By understanding the buyer journey stages, you can effectively take advantage of opportunities to build trust during each.

The awareness stage

This is the first step of the buyer journey. “The awareness stage is when the buyer has realized a challenge they face and is looking to identify the underlying issue,” King explains. As previously mentioned, it’s very likely the prospect will find you on their own through their own search. 

This is where sellers have the opportunity to build trust before having any contact with a prospect. A couple of ways to accomplish this, according to King, are:

The consideration stage 

When the buyer enters the consideration stage, they’ve identified the root cause of their challenges and are ready to start researching potential solutions,” King writes. Now they are aware of issues, they are ready to consume educational content about possible solutions, as well as seek advice from others. Build trust at this stage by establishing yourself as a valuable, credible option and showcasing how others have benefitted from working with you. King suggests the following:

  • Highlight social proof. Encourage buyers to check out testimonials, reviews, referrals, and other forms of social proof. Let others showcase your value (while also establishing even more credibility). And buyers want these insights. SalesFuel found that 33.5% of buyers say they read comments about a potential vendor written by others on social media. 38.8% will read ratings/​reviews on social media when researching solutions.
  • Offer comparisons. Use this opportunity to build trust by being transparent. Honestly compare what you have to offer compared to other vendors. Sellers will appreciate this. 
  • Specific use cases. “Personalize content to the buyer so they get a clear picture of how your solution can work for them,” King suggests. “Don’t just talk about your solution’s features, explain how it will benefit the buyer.”

Keep going

These are only two stages of the buyer’s journey; you have an opportunity to build trust during each of the remaining stages. By following King’s advice, you can appeal to today’s buyers, emerging from the “crisis of trust” with a sale and a solid relationship based on trust and credibility. 

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels