The key to building trust with your prospects is setting the right expectations. It must be an extension of the marketing that led the prospect to you, whether its an ad, a letter, or your website. It’s important that as a salesperson you know what story marketing is telling people, so you can continue that conversation.
Episode 2 – Transcript
Welcome to Episode 2 of The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter and I am your guide as we cover everything sales as it relates to moving prospects towards becoming clients and the experience they have on that journey with you or your team.
Hopefully you listened to the first episode. If you didn’t pause this right now and go listen to it. It is worth the 8 ish minutes. While it didn’t have any sales tips, it did set the foundation for what to expect.
As I mentioned in that episode, the key to any healthy and successful relationship is setting the proper expectations. In sales it is very important to set the right expectation with your prospect. While it is out of your control, it starts even before you speak with them.
It begins when they hear about your brand or see marketing or advertising and decide to call in, or walk in, or fill out a form asking for more help. Before even talking to you they will have an expectation in their mind on what they are going to find out about or what problem your product or service will solve for them.
If they walk onto your car lot, their problem might be one of simple transportation or something deeper and more subconscious focused on social status and wanting to keep up with the Jones’s. If they respond to a letter in the mail regarding their credit card debt, they could be wanting to get deal with the financial stress that wakes them up at 2am. If they filled out a form regarding insurance then they are expecting a conversation about insurance to get new coverage for their teenager.
While that seems like common sense, there are many times where marketing is saying one thing and sales is saying another. For the sales or marketing leaders listening – make sure that your messaging is the same throughout the sales experience.
If you are in a sales role then your job is to be an extension of that marketing message. I personally feel that every sales person should have some level of visibility to the messages and ads that a company publishes. This is your best upfront tool to make sure you are saying the same thing as marketing.
If marketing is telling people the sky is green and the only solution to turn it blue is your company’s product, and then you are telling people that the sky is blue but you will make it bluer – then there is a disconnect. And in the mind of the prospect they are always on the look out and worried about disconnects. Trust is very important aspect to ever successful sales interaction. And depending on what you are selling, how much knowledge the prospect has about it before hand, and the price point – they could be going into your interaction with them skeptical and worried about being ripped off.
And if marketing is telling people the sky is green…but you know its blue…and the marketing is lying to people in order to get them to be scared and call in or walk in…then run from that organization. That is the type of thing that will eventually come crashing down.
Alright – so marketing and you need to be on the same page, with the same message, solving the same problem. That will start the sales experience off on the right foot.
Now once you have that prospect in front of you or on the phone, make sure and set the right expectation with them of what will happen. You might say something like ‘I want to ask you some questions to determine if there is a way our program could help your situation.’ Or ‘Let’s talk about what you need in a new car and then I want to show you the best options.’ Or maybe ‘First I need to gather some information so that I can pull your credit in order to see what you qualify for.’
Whatever your sales process is, some part of your introduction section should be designed to let the prospect know as early as possible in the conversation what you are going to do, some of the steps, and if there is anything that you will need from them to get started.
Then…and this is the tricky part for some sales people and organizations…you got to actually do what you said you would do. And if you do, it will blow their mind.
Why is this necessary and effective? Like I said, prospects are coming to buying conversation with a varying degree of skepticism, fear, anxiety, or doubt. It is based on the factors I mentioned as well as their past experiences with sales people. If things have gone well before then they will be more trusting and eager.
If they have been screwed over before it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale, just means you will have to prove to them that you are one of the good guys. And of course, ideally it would be great if your prospects were referrals from past clients because that will help reduce those barriers.
Your assignment for creating the ideal sales experience for everyone you speak with is to first understand the messaging they are hearing or seeing before they get to you.
Second, during the initial part of your conversation set some proper expectations. You don’t have to tell them everything that will happen if that would be overwhelming. Just make sure you are giving them enough to feel comfortable with moving forward.
Third – actually do what you said you would do.
Now go out there and set some good expectations and then follow through.
That’s it for this episode of The Sales Experience Podcast. Make sure to subscribe so you can get all the episodes as they are published.
Until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.