“Do your customers know, like and trust you?”
That’s a question that’s been asked hundreds of times, and it’s one of the hardest ones to answer because ‘trust’ is such a hard thing to measure. We know when we trust someone to fulfill their commitments, and once trust disappears it’s very difficult to rebuild it.
However, the companies that have the highest amount of trust with their customers are the ones who have the shortest sales cycles and highest margins, so it’s worthwhile for any salesperson to ask, ‘How can I increase the trust my prospects have for me and my company?’
To answer that question, we sat down with David Horsager, CEO of Trust Edge and hall of fame speaker. He’s one of the most recognized experts in how to establish and leverage trust as a differentiator in business, and he helped us build a system that any salesperson can use to increase trust in their sales cycle.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: First, we need to determine where in our sales cycle we need to increase trust. David says we need to ask what we’re doing well as salespeople? And how do we do that? Then, ask ‘How do we make it even better?’ That is one of the easiest and most impactful places to increase trust among our teammates and with our customers.
R – Repeatable: To make this system repeatable, we need to ask the word, ‘How’? Often the first answer isn’t the one that will create the change in trust. David recommends continuing to ask ‘how?’ until you discover a ‘who, should do what, by when?’
For instance, if a sales team is trying to increase trust with prospects in order to increase their closing ratio somewhere in their pipelines, their map might look like:
‘We need to increase our closing ratio in setting meetings.’
‘By showing our prospects how that meeting will give them actionable items whether they do business with us or not.’
‘By mapping out the assessment we use during the meeting that provides them with a guide for buying widgets and even gives them the specs they can bring to any supplier.’
‘Each salesperson will have a script they can use that highlights the take-aways from that meetings and how it has helped everyone who’s taken the meeting with us.’
‘Bob will create the script and bring it to the next sales meeting so we can review it before building it into our outreach sequences.’
I – Improvable: To ensure you can improve the systems you put into place to increase the trust you have with your prospects and customers, set a calendar reminder for 90-days out once you set your new ‘trust system’ to examine what part of the system can be improved. David says that keeping tasks in monthly and quarterly check ins will be most impactful, especially as you examine how you can improve the systems you’re putting into place.
M – Measurable: To measure a system that’s been built to increase trust, we have to examine if the symptoms of trust are increasing in our company. Are we getting more referrals? Are our customers buying more of our products and services without a lengthy vetting process? Are we fulfilling the commitments we make, no matter how small?
By measuring the effects of something as intangible as trust, we can understand whether we’re on the road to increasing the trust we have – and the sales we can make.