Trust Me.

As a dive master, I have had the pleasure of taking many divers on adventures they had only dreamed about. My favorites were wreck dives. In San Diego, we have quite a few. It is safe, but for someone who has few deep dives under their dive belt, no experience diving the California coast, and no experience diving a wreck, it can be overwhelming.

The stated reason for them hiring me was to get the most out of the dives. The underlying unstated reason was they were paying me to keep them safe.

The same is true in sales. While your prospect may like your solution, if they don't believe they can count on you to deliver, they aren't going to buy no matter how much they like your product or service. This is a major advantage for companies with a proven track record. But, it isn't insurmountable for startups as long as you know it exists.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Don't ignore it. It isn't going to go away. Ask questions that confirm or deny a confidence gap.

  2. Address the gap. Either eliminate or minimize the gap. When minimizing, you also need to leverage your unique strengths.

  3. Remember, there are two aspects of trust. Your prospect needs to trust your company and you. Building up trust takes time, start early.

As a dive master, I had very little time to gain a divers confidence before entering the water. After entering the water, it was too late. Underwater, I could only build on it. On the boat to the dive site and in the water I did the following:

  1. I looked into their eyes. I didn't look them in the eyes. I looked into their eyes.

  2. I asked them about their experience (background) and what they wanted to accomplish on the dive(s). I made it all about them.

  3. Once I knew their goals, we made a dive plan. They bought into what we were going to do and we weren't going to push their limits.

  4. I let them know if they felt uncomfortable they could end the dive at any time.

  5. Then, I stayed by their side throughout the dive. Questioning them if they were okay and exuding a relaxed confidence.

The point is this, trust begins when you listen. It grows when you make the prospect's goals your goals. It continues to grow when you include the other prospect in the planning. Finally, it is earned when you are their with them at every step.

Most importantly, you need to be the person they can trust.

#CX #sales #salesprocess #trust #customerfocus #startups

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