Today I’m going to discuss why people buy from you, focussing on the ‘like and trust’ factor – why this is true, and how to persuade people to like and trust you, and therefore become your loyal clients for life.
The quote above has been written about thousands of times. It is basically a true statement with one main caveat. You do need to be liked, but most importantly you need to be trusted. It could more accurately read, “People buy from those they like, then trust.” I have always considered this the most important aspect of selling. Trust. Once you gain a person’s trust, they will be glad to buy your product as long as it is relevant to their needs. There is a sequence here. Like precedes trust. When you think about this, it makes sense. It would be very hard to ardently hate someone, and at the same time trust them.
Here are some simple things you can do to make your selling efforts pay off. You may be a natural salesperson and innately understand these methods. Or you may be struggling to gain the confidence of your prospective client, in which case I think that you’ll enjoy these tips. There is nothing difficult about them at all. But you need to practice them, using them everyday, with everyone you meet. They must feel natural, and never, ever seem forced, false, or contrived.
1. Get to know your prospective client. Get to know everything you can about them before you ever meet. The more you know, even if it’s just a seemingly useless detail, the easier it will be for you to gain their trust. And as you gather notes and information, make sure that all the information you gather is distributed to everyone who is, or will be, involved in the sales or design process.
2. Be credible. Know your stuff. Know your products. Understand and relay your processes to them. You should never stumble in this area. To do so is exposing a chink in your armor. Educate yourself and present your information concisely. This goes a long way in gaining their trust.
3. Be confident. Even cocky. I know that sounds a little over-the-top, but it really works. People like people who are confident; people who know themselves, and know their business.
4. Use body language. This is a big topic with many sub-topics. Body language exists,whether you admit to using it or not. It is observed and processed by everyone you meet. Studies have been made that state that 90-97% of a person’s message is conveyed via body language. If that’s true, it makes sense for you to be very aware of your body language, and what you are “saying” to your prospective clients. Here are some body language tips for you to work on.
A. Mirroring – this is for many a natural thing to do. Have you ever stood at the back of your truck, talking to a friend, and he puts his foot on the bumper, and you almost immediately follow suit? Or leaned forward over a table, speaking to a person, and they follow suit. That’s called mirroring. It is a very natural thing for most of us to do. When you mirror another person, it shows that you respect the other person and that you are genuinely interested in what they are saying. It means you like them. And they in turn will like you. It shows you are in sync. It demonstrates that you agree with the person. A word of caution about mirroring – never do this consciously. It must be a totally natural occurrence. If you are not, at present, doing this naturally, just be aware of it, and see if it eventually becomes a part of your everyday interactions.
B. Don’t cross your arms. This is seen as a defensive posture and signifies that you would like the person to keep their distance.
C. Don’t fidget. This shows a lack of concentration, interest, and confidence. Sit still yet remain relaxed.
D. Tilt your head back slightly. This is an act that comes from our early days as man and woman. It exposes your carotid artery, and indicates that you are vulnerable, and not looking for a fight. Subtle, but meaningful.
E. Raise your eyebrows. This act of raising and lowering your eyebrows as you meet someone, indicates that you are friendly and are interested in them.
F. Lean in as you greet someone and shake their hand. Again showing that you are not competing with them or threatening them, but are interested in having a friendly relationship with them. Some people go as far as covering the other person’s hand with their free hand. Use this with caution, as it indicates intense interest in them.
G. Sit forward in your seat. This may seem a bit odd or awkward, yet look at the other side of the coin – sitting in a totally relaxed manner. Let’s say you walk in, greet them, sit down in the chair of your choice, throw your arm over the back of the couch, lean sideways, maybe even kick your feet up on the ottoman. How do think they’ll react to that? They’ll probably think, “Who does this guy think he is? He just got here, we don’f even know him, and he’s made himself at home. Grrrr.” Obviously a bad start. Try greeting them, asking where you should sit, take a seat, and stay slightly forward in your seat, leaning towards them. You’ll seem intent and ready to listen to them. Which option do you think will serve you better?
H. Maintain eye contact. This is probably the most important body language tip. When someone cannot look me in the eye, I not only won’t tend to like them, I won’t ever trust them. Eye contact shows immediate confidence. It says, “I’m not afraid of who I am, I know who I am, and I can most certainly help you with your problems.” Use this wisely. Never maintain too much eye contact, or you’ll scare them. Use just the right amount, and it will do wonders for your confidence and your relationships.
5. Stress teamwork. If you are working separately, you may be working adversarially. If you are all pulling in the same direction it is quite natural to like each other. Much research has been done on cooperation. Groups who fight for a common cause, tend to like and trust each other. They are all working for a common good. Use the term “We” and “Team” often. This will tell them that you are on their side, and that they are included in the entire process.
6. Agree with them. Even if they have a different point of view. You can agree with their view, pointing out the positive aspects of it, and then present the differences in your view. This point always reminds me of the English actor Hugh Grant. In his many films about chaotic relations, he consistently uses the word, “Yes”, before offering his opinion, even when he doesn’t really mean yes at all. It has the effect of blunting the “opponents” argument. I find it intriguing and often use it myself. This technique is widely used in management styles.
7. Flatter them. Flattery will get you somewhere. Even when people know exactly what you are doing, they will still accept flattery. It is a human trait. Our ego precedes our logic, so to speak. If you are using flattery, make it sincere; and relevant to the situation. In the case of a remodeler selling a project, complimenting someone about their home is completely consistent with the situation.
8. Dress well. This point is ambiguous at best. The best overall advice is to wear clean, neat clothing. Going back to the first point – know your prospect. If you can dress closer to their dress standards then you’ll increase your chances of them liking and trusting you. If you are selling to a person who drives a backhoe all day, a suit and tie might be a bad idea. However, if you intend to sell to the CEO of a large company, a nice golf shirt and a blazer would be quite acceptable (especially if the golf shirt had the logo of the country club she or he belongs to).
In the end, you must keep your objective in mind. You are trying to gain the trust of a prospective client. In order to do that, you need to be liked. As they begin to like you, they’ll begin to trust you. Once you have their trust, it becomes simple to solve their problem(s). That trust will serve you well throughout the relationship. When a difference or question arises, having their trust will carry the day for you, over and over again.
I presented some very useful tools for your use in selling your products. Persuading a person to buy from you becomes quite easy once they begin to like and trust you. However, I did leave out one point; a point that is key to all the advice I could ever give you. That is that you must like yourself before you can expect others to like you. And that comes from constantly examining yourself, being aware, and continually working on being the best person you can possibly be. Liking yourself must precede others liking you. If you skip this vital step, you’ll find any effort to persuade others to your point of view to be difficult and tedious.
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
This article was written by Randall Soules, remodeling coach, adviser, educator, and creator of the Scientific Remodeling System, showing you better ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to discover better ways to run your business, click here. He also provides his uniquely customized one-on-one coaching to a select group of contractors. Feel free to contact Randall at Randall@scientificremodelingsystem.com.
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