Trust is at an all-time low.
- Only 15% of buyers trust business leaders to be truthful
- Only 50% of people trust businesses to do the right thing
- Only 25% trust business leaders to correct their issues
- Just 1 in 5 people trust business leaders tell the truth and make ethical and moral decisions
These shocking statistics from the Edelman Trust Barometer, demonstrate just how hard sellers must work if they are to gain the trust of buyers.
Gone are the days when people bought from those they knew, people local to them, people that their friends or relatives recommended. Gone also are the days when sellers had the upper hand.
Today buyers are informed, engaged, have unlimited choice and sellers competing for their business. Today buyers are in charge of their own purchasing journey and now that they have the ability to make decisions without building personal relationships, the result is little or no trust in their seller.
Where can we see the problem?
Sales is, and has always been, built on personal relationships. People ‘trust people like them’. But how can prospecting tools such as LinkedIn help you bridge that trust gap? Will it make you stand out to buyers as being ‘someone like them’?
“The essence of trust building is to emphasise the similarities between you and the customer” Thomas J. Watson
Your biggest similarity with your buyers is that they have needs and problems to solve, and you have the ability to help them do this. On LinkedIn buyers can see your profile, your network, engage via InMail or see your discussions within groups and forums. But it takes more than the tools that LinkedIn offers to build real trust. It takes insight and value. You need to place yourself directly into the buying process by ensuring that at every touch point you add value.
By listening and understand each buyer’s needs, you can identify opportunities to engage in a meaningful way outside of the sales cycle. Through engagements that offer value you begin to create the trust that provides the foundation to your customer relationship.
Seven smart steps to building trust:
- Share your successes and problems you have solved openly
- Impart the lessons you have learned from others along the way
- Offer advice and comment on blogs
- Look for prospects with similar problems to the ones you’ve already solved, listen to them and respond
- Ask for introductions and referrals to those in your customers’ networks who might have similar problems
- Ask for recommendations/endorsements from your customers and business partners
- Respond quickly when customers reach out to their network with questions
Want to learn more about LinkedIn for social selling and how you can boost the effectiveness of this popular tool?
Then get your free copy of our new ebook ‘Social Selling: More than just LinkedIn’.
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