When Talking to Strangers - 3 reasons potential customers may distrust you
Submit Articles Back to Articles
to hear the response from managers when asked about what factors impact
Many will reference the economy, customer demographics, competition,
certainly play a role, I often find, when brought in to train sales and
teams, that employees inadvertently chase away new potential customers.
usually happens within the first 10 seconds of customer communication,
employees have no idea that they are committing these
offenses. See if this is true in
reasons potential customers may distrust you or your team members.
Imagine that you
are relaxing at home at the end of a long day. Supper’s cleared away;
it’s time to relax with cookie, blankie, remote. The phone rings. You
yourself off the sofa to answer. The voice at the other end replies, “Hello,
is this Mr. or Ms. So-and-so?”
“Yes,” you answer. The caller’s next line, “And
how are you this evening?” Thinking
quickly you turn to your sweetheart, extending the phone, “Honey,
it’s for you!”
made a common mistake—faking familiarity. It’s true that customers want
treated in a friendly manner, but managers and employees need to
before you can foster friendly feelings, you need to create trust. The
telemarketer lost trust in the first five seconds when they asked a
stranger, “How are you?” The
realizes that the caller had never met them, so really doesn’t care how
are. One of the techniques I share in my training sessions for
cold calling methods is to never ask a stranger, “How
are you?” Instead, salespeople get better results by opening
with, “Hello, is this So-and-So? Hi, I’m
So-and-So with ABC Company. We’ve never met. The reason I’m calling is…”
In other words, you’ll get
better results by
saying, “We’ve never met” (which
proves that you are up front and honest) than by insincerely inquiring
the health of a total stranger.
is more educated, streetwise, and, frankly, way more cynical about
motives than ever before. Consumers seem to be taking the advice that
give their children: “Come straight home, and don’t talk to strangers!”
means that beyond telling employees to be friendly with customers,
need to quip their staff with tools for establishing trust.
person would you trust in this scenario: Picture yourself as a customer
this simple question of two employees: “When
can you deliver this?” Employee
response: “This is the busy season for us
and the plant is operating at about a two-week turnaround.
That means it will be
delivered by March 15th.”
response to the same question, “By March 15th.
This is the busy season
for us and the plant
is operating at about a two- week turnaround.
That means delivery by March 15th.”
the customer, you’re likely to have more confidence and trust (there’s
word again) in Employee B. That
answered the question with a direct answer, then
A sounded as though
they were avoiding the question. That’s
also referred to as sounding like a
politician. When trust is our primary objective, better to
opt for instant
honesty. In other words, answer the question directly, then explain.
subtle technique that’s often overlooked.
Speaking of up-front honesty, let’s look at a
third reason strangers
may not be receptive to our ideas.
I have spoken at conventions for three major
corporations who each claim that they are number one in the industry.
and I know all three companies can’t be first, when we read the fine
find that each is using different metrics to rank themselves at the
top. My comment for those three
organizations – so
what! What does the
client care if you
happen to have the most sales, most realtors, or most offices in the
country? At best,
those are features -
not benefits – that aren’t particularly meaningful to the average
they’ve done by claiming to be number one (when others are doing the
raise the skepticism of the customer. This use of slight exaggeration,
“puffery,” is the third reason customers distrust us.
Customers have become so inured to
organizations claiming to be the
first, best, and biggest, that they often tune-out when they hear it
employees, advertisements, the media, or read it on websites.
To influence the
customers’ buying decisions,
we’d better provide more than just grandiose claims.
Fortunately, there are three pieces of
information that do help to sell ideas, products or services.
Your message should convey:
1.What the benefit
is. 2.How you are unique 3.The
evidence. Together the benefit, uniqueness, and
are known in marketing circles as a Unique Selling
Proposition or USP. Your
USP helps to remove doubts and raise
There are plenty
of reasons/excuses for sales not meeting expectations. Before blaming
factors, managers would do well to look at their customer
communications to see
if there’s room for improvement in building trust.
About the Author
article is based on the critically acclaimed book, Becoming
90 Minutes a Month by business strategist,
international speaker Jeff
Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about
for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com
call 1-800-JMowatt (566-9288).
Follow us @Scopulus_News