How to Make Your Prospects Believe You When They Don't

Here’s a guest post from Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling. She understands how to make big sales even in 2011 when you are working with an educated, disengaged consumer.
As a copywriter in Toronto, Ottawa and Melbourne, I know no matter what country you’re in, customers don’t believe you.
So it’s essential that your communications department takes your audience’s disbelief into account as much as trained Tangible Words website copywriters do when managing your content writing.
Not only do you have to be consistent when you’re writing on your website, but trained professional copywriters help you understand how people read online and what kind of information (and wording) builds trust with your audience. (Before you choose a copywriter, make sure you set your expectations!)
Read Jill’s article below so you can learn a little more about selling and content writing in 2011: both in person and on your written marketing materials, such as a website and business blog.

We were just approaching Des Moines, traveling at 72 miles per hour on I-35 when it hit me. My husband, who was driving, didn’t even notice. But for me, the effect was jarring.
“Holy cow!” I exclaimed. (That’s really appropriate when you’re in Iowa.) I held up Wikibrands , the book I was reading. “Did you know that the Edelman Trust Barometer says that only 8 percent of people trust what companies say about themselves?”
My husband shrugged his shoulders and gave me that “Duh” look. Clearly, wasn’t impacting him the way it did me. All I could think about was what salespeople were saying and what their prospects were hearing.

Seller: We offer state-of-the art technology.
Prospect: I don’t believe it. And even if it’s true, your lead will only last a short time.Seller: We really care about our customers.
Prospect: That’s what they all say before the get the order. Then they ignore you.Seller: We’re #1 in the XYZ Ranking.
Prospect: Statistics can easily lie.
Seller: We offer a unique approach to solving your problems.
Prospect: Sure. You, along with everyone else.

This is serious. 92% of the time you talk about your own company, you’re not believable. And they more wonderful things you spout, the more unbelievable you are.
So what’s the answer? 

Here are three strategies you can use to make your prospects believe you.

  1. Don’t say anything nice about your product/service. 
    Not one blasted thing, because it only destroys your credibility. Don’t pass out any of your “aren’t we wonderful” marketing brochures either. They have the same negative impact.  This is especially important in your early conversations.
  2. Focus on being helpful in every interaction.
    Let your prospect know about the results your other clients have achieved. Talk about their critical business issues. Share ideas, insights and information that you think would be beneficial to them. Ask questions. But most of all, make sure they have no doubts that your intent is to provide value to them.
  3. Be truthful, even when it hurts. 
    Your product, service or solution is not perfect for everyone. When you’re under corporate or self-induced pressure to close more sales, this can be really hard to do. There are times you might even recommend a competitor because it’s the right thing to do.

Developing trust is essential. Without it, you don’t have a chance to get the business. With it, you’ll have an opportunity to grow long-standing, highly profitable relationships. It’s worth the effort.

Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, helps sellers get more prospects in their pipeline, speed up sales cycles and land bigger contracts. She’s a frequent speaker at sales conferences. For more fresh sales strategies that work with crazy-busy prospects, visit www.jillkonrath.com.