What’s the most common trait among salespeople who lose clients almost as soon as they gain them? After the sale, they pop the champagne, breathe a sigh of relief, and believe their work with that client is done. Apparently no one ever told them that you need to build trust with your customers in order to achieve consistent revenue from them.
“Consumers tend to treat businesses the way they treat other people — holding them to certain standards and building relationships with ones they have faith in,” writes Jay Fuchs for HubSpot. “They're expressive with their dollar and want to engage with companies that won't let them down.” There are a few things you need to do for your company to fit that bill.
How to Build Trust with Your Customers
The easiest way to build trust with your customers is to let them know that you are there for them. You can accomplish this by reaching out regularly. But, for your own good, do not send them, “Just checking in,” messages. No one responds to those because they’re only a waste of time. Make sure all of your outreach provides value to your client. Send them articles about updates in their industry that they may have missed. Or, if you have provided a service for them recently, ask them for feedback.
Here’s the important part: If you ask your clients for feedback, act on it! If your client consistently tells you how you can better serve them in the future and you ignore it, they will stop giving you feedback. Not only that, they’ll stop reaching out to you and, eventually, they’ll stop giving you their business.
One way you probably scored more points than your competitors during the sales process was assuring the prospect that you’re always available for your clients. Now it’s time to build trust with your customers by proving you were being honest. The only times your client will be reaching out to you now is when they are experiencing a problem with your product. When this happens, the client probably isn’t in the best of moods. If you keep them on hold or waiting for the result you promised for too long, you’ll only make the situation worse.
Do I honestly have to elaborate on this one? You can’t build trust with your customers by being dishonest. Always tell them the whole truth, even if it doesn’t put you in the best light.
You build or lose your sales credibility with your clients with everything you say to them and do for them. You build trust with your customers by establishing your credibility. And, if you want to make another sale to existing clients, you need to make sure your sales credibility is top tier. According to C. Lee Smith’s book SalesCred, there are five layers to the Hierarchy of Sales Credibility, as well as 3 Pillars of Credibility. You need to know your current position in that hierarchy with each prospect and client. And you must take concrete steps to advance to the next level before you can be completely confident in making your next sale.