Is there such a thing as a positive relationship without trust? We trust our friends and take their advice. And when a provider earns trust by their words, deeds, and actions—we listen. Only when trust has been established, between vendor and customer, can a long-term partnership be built. How important is trust in sales?  When trust is broken the last sale has been made.

How to Build Trust

Building trust isn’t complicated. It begins by telling the truth—even when it hurts. And that includes avoiding lies by omission. Trust is the foundation for friendship and friends give friends the best advice possible. Trust = friendship = partnership.

Be brutally honest – Transparency about products and services is critical. If you can’t solve the customer’s problem, tell them, or better yet, find who can help them.

Under promise – Over promising and under delivering to secure a sale always leads to upset customers and problems. It also may lead to the last sale you’ll ever make to that customer…and his or her friends.

Stay in touch – Friends stay in touch and not just because they need something from you (real friends anyway). If the only time you contact a client is to make a sale…what kind of a friend are you?

Offer help – If you want to build a friendship and develop trust, offer to help for helps sake. For example, we’ve wrapped vehicles for charity initiatives sponsored by a customer, donated graphics to events, written guest posts, advised on social media strategies, and more. That’s what friends do.

Know your customer and their business –By taking the time and energy to know your customer you will understand what problems they have and may be able to offer solutions—something friends do.

Share your successes and failures– Publish case studies, videos, images, and blogs that share how you’ve helped others and what you’ve learned from your mistakes.

Establish credibility – How long have you been in business, how tenured is your team, what special training do you have, and how have you been accredited?

Listen and be available– Being there when a customer has a question or concern may do more to establish a relationship than anything else you can do.

It Starts with Trust

How important is trust? Without trust, there is no future sales opportunity. Yes, an unscrupulous con-artist may make a sale using high-pressure tactics, but only once. And thankfully, with the availability of information to vet people and products this type of con is becoming harder and harder to accomplish. Building trust is the key to a long-term sales partnership. Without trust, your product, service, organization, and you…are at a dead-end. How do you establish a trusting relationship with your customers?