Before prospects consider buying from you, they first need to trust you. They need to know that you’re not only a promo expert, but that you have their best interests at heart.

Prospects are often wary of being sold to and may not fully believe the promises that sales reps make. This is especially true if you’re working with a prospect who has no familiarity with your company. Even if you’re reconnecting with a prospect you’ve contacted before, establishing trust should be a critical first step in the sales process.

Writer Kelly Fanthorpe compares making a B2B purchase to bungee jumping. Both require a leap of faith, and there’s a lot on the line. She says anyone can say their product is the right choice, but to convince the prospect, you need to gain their trust.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share Fanthorpe’s ideas on how you can warm things up with cold prospects and begin to build trust.

Do your research so you can personalize your outreach. Make sure you look into the prospect and their business. Fanthorpe says if you come into a cold call with an understanding of their pain points, you can immediately speak to the challenges they face and offer relevancy right away. The better you understand the person you’re contacting, the better you can connect with them and prove that you can solve their problems.

Respect the prospect’s process. Just like you wouldn’t propose to someone after just meeting them, you also shouldn’t immediately try to close the deal with a prospect. Trust doesn’t happen immediately. Like all good things, it takes time, Fanthorpe says.

Don’t overdo it with the texts. Texting someone is a more personal form of communication. Fanthorpe recommends asking for permission before adding texting to your sales process. You could say something like, “I know this decision is a priority for you. Is it OK if I send you a text about it later?” Once you’ve established a texting relationship, be sure to use it wisely. Never text just to check in. Instead, have a reason, like sending a meeting confirmation.

Ask smart questions. According to Fanthorpe, asking questions that foster real, honest discussion isn’t always easy, but it’s one of the fastest ways to earn trust. This doesn’t mean gazing deeply into their eyes and asking them about their hopes and dreams, but rather posing thought-provoking questions that can lead to interesting conversations.

Be consistent. There’s a reason people tend to order “the usual” at their favorite coffee shop or restaurant. They know it, like it and count on it being enjoyable every time. If you want your prospects to keep coming back to conversations with you, then offer them consistency, Fanthorpe says. Do what you say you’ll do, and they’ll learn that your words are consistent with your actions.

Offer social proof. Show prospects how your other clients have achieved success with promo. Fanthorpe says that if other people can vouch for the quality of something, we’re a lot more likely to take the plunge. It’s human nature. 

Be transparent. If you can’t commit to something or you get something wrong, be honest. People appreciate honesty.

Trust is the foundation for successful sales relationships. You can establish trust by conducting proper research and respecting the prospect’s process. Remember to ask strong questions, use social proof and maintain consistency in your communication. To gain trust, be authentic and show that you truly care about helping the prospect succeed.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Kelly Fanthorpe is Lusha’s content manager and a writer with over five years of experience in the B2B marketing space.