Five easy steps to winning a customer’s trust and making a sale

Posted 10 Oct 2018 by Louise Murphy

Have you ever wanted to turn and walk away when a salesperson strides towards you? Ever picked up the phone and immediately wished you could hang up as a sales pitch rings down the line? No matter how good a salesperson is, almost every sales scenario will start with the customer braced to resist every word they hear. Good salespeople know this, and they also know how to turn that tension into something positive which will benefit both buyer and seller.

Here’s a quickfire lesson in transforming tension into sales:

1) Build a rapport

You’ve heard this before, but are you doing it well?

Salespeople often feel the tension just as keenly as their customers. The worst thing you can do is attempt to alleviate the pressure by talking and talking. ‘What lovely weather’, ‘Did you see the match last night’, ‘Thank god it’s Friday, hey?!’.

Your customer is keen to wave you off as quickly as they can, so small talk will do more harm than good. They can’t and don’t want to relate to you.

You need to sync with your customer to build a rapport. If they speak in short sentences, so can you. If they move to sit down, so can you. The psychology behind building a rapport is fascinating, vast, and invaluable to salespeople. But in a nutshell, don’t alienate them or overwhelm them. Be like them.

2) Listen

We all want to fill silences. Fight that instinct. If you can just let your customer speak you’ll not only distract them from the stress of the sales pitch but you’ll also find out a myriad of things about them.

Do they talk positively or do they seem to be a worrier? What are they working on or towards? What’s taking up their time and attention?

With a few well-placed prompts and a careful, engaged listening style, you can unearth a huge amount of information. All of it will be useful to you.

3) Listen some more

You’ve listened well enough that your customer is relaxed. They’ve told you a few key things about their business. Now it’s time to ask the hard questions.

Perhaps they made an off-hand comment about high targets? Ask them why they aren’t hitting them. Ask them twice (they will lie at least once). Sure, you’ll raise the tension levels, but this is where you show the difference between yourself and the next salesperson.

4) Repeat

So far, you haven’t spoken about yourself or what you offer. You’ve been building trust, getting to understand your customer and the challenges they are facing. You know what they are motivated by.

You’ve gathered all the information you need to let them sell to themselves.

There’s a real art to this, but tactfully repeating your customer’s exact problems back to them shows that you understand their business and care about getting to the heart of the issue.

If you can let them know that you have the solution to a problem which they themselves identified, they won’t feel sold to. They’ll feel supported, understood.

5) Reflect

You have gone out of your way to fix a problem that was holding your customer back. You made the sale and your customer is happy. You are happy. Hold on to this feeling and use it to give you confidence in your next sales meeting, the one after that, and the one after that.

We’ve evaluated the skills of 1.8million salespeople in 23,000 companies. Six per cent of all those salespeople were elite. That means 94 per cent of salespeople could use some help. Statistically, that’s probably either you or most of your sales team.

There are simple techniques which we can use to improve our selling ability. These take a little coaching, practise, and persistence. Our sales development programme is open to anyone who wants to master the art of sales and never have to make an excuse for poor performance again.

We know it works. Daniel Bradley of Monitor Creative told us, “It was by far the best value investment in sales training we’ve ever made.” Laura Bulmer from DoTech Web Solutions said, “I was involved in a sales pitch from a team who had been trained by Objective Assessment. My colleagues were so impressed with them that I booked onto the course as soon as I could.”

Take Action

Find out more about our upcoming training sessions below. To register yourself or your sales team in one ore more of our upcoming training courses, send an email to:

  • Session 1: Differentiating Value 
    Tuesday 23rd October, 8.30am – 1pm
    Business First, Empire Way, Just off Liverpool Road, Burnley, BB12 6HH

  • Session 2: Powerful Prospecting 
    Tuesday 6th November, 8.30am – 1pm
    Business First, Empire Way, Just off Liverpool Road, Burnley, BB12 6HH

  • Session 3: The Art of Closing Sales 
    Tuesday 20th November, 8.30am – 1pm
    Business First, Empire Way, Just off Liverpool Road, Burnley, BB12 6HH

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