By Tom Reilly

Trust is the currency of all good relationships. If two people like each other, trust each other, and want to do business, they will work out the details and price is a detail. Trust is visceral. Buyers feel it in their guts. Do your customers trust you?

You build trust when you tell the truth. Honesty and integrity go hand-in-glove with trust. Truth means you don’t have to remember whom you lie to. When you tell the truth, you come across as authentic. You are the real deal.

You build trust when you show respect for buyers’ time. It demonstrates you recognize the value of this precious commodity. Customers know you will never squander that little bit of their lives they share with you.

You build trust when you deliver on promises. The number-one complaint about salespeople is lack of follow-up. When you say what you will do and do what you say, customers know they can depend on you. Your word is your bond.

You build trust when you deliver bad news as well as good news. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but customers depend on your shooting straight with them, even when the truth hurts. They respect your courage in telling them what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear.

You build trust when you admit that you don’t know the answer to a buyer’s question, “I don’t have an answer for you now, but I will get you one immediately.”

You build trust when you listen more than you talk. What better way to demonstrate a genuine interest in customers than to listen patiently. Listening means you value their input and want to customize your solution to their needs.

You build trust when you demonstrate empathy. Empathy is viewing your solution through the customers’ eyes. When you view your solution as value-received versus value-added, it demonstrates your insight into their needs, wants, and fears.

You build trust with your credibility. Are you a believable and knowledgeable businessperson? Can customers rely on your information to make sound business decisions?

Though the Internet and electronic purchasing represent a challenge for salespeople, people still buy from people. Customers want to buy from salespeople they trust. Your job is to earn buyers’ trust. Then, they will invest in the relationship as well as your product.

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