Why do you trust some people and not others?

Trust is a word we use indiscriminately, but we do not trust indiscriminately. How do we define trust? How do we get our arms around such an emotional word? That’s a tough question to answer, because it depends on the person, and sometimes it depends on the times.

Right now, in the midst of a global health emergency and a global financial crisis, we’re all asking ourselves who to trust. Who do we trust for health information? Who do we trust for political leadership? And who do we trust for business guidance?

Salespeople that earn trust in the time of COVID won’t have to worry about losing their jobs during an economic downturn. Their pipelines are recession-proof.

Face Facts: The Client Is Not Always Right, and Your Sales Pitch Is Annoying

For me, trust is earned by doing the right thing, even when the right thing is unpopular. Being trustworthy means having the  willingness to push back when you know someone is headed down the wrong road. It means pushing back when a client tells you what they want, and you know the consequences will be dire if you don’t speak up. It means helping someone when they need help, without expecting anything in return. In a word, it’s fidelity.

Buyers don’t trust salespeople, because many are arrogant and never stop pitching. In fact, just 18 percent of salespeople are classified by buyers as “trusted advisors” whom they respect, according to research by Steve W. Martin. The rest just want to sell you their products—the heck with caring about who you are. At least, that’s what many prospects have come to believe. They hear the word sales and think of the stereotypical used-car salesman.

Top salespeople are different. They show empathy, they listen carefully, and they ask tough questions. They understand that their job is to help their clients. If they can’t help, they’ll refer someone who can.

How Your Prospects Choose Whom to Trust

Joe Galvin, chief research officer at Vistage, clarifies the meaning of trust in his article, “Trust in the Time of COVID-19.” He says, “Trust is a belief we hold about a person or resource. It has five attributes that can be applied to any relationship, team or organization.” These attributes include competency, consistency, integrity, transparency, and relationship.

Joe goes on to explain:

I’m not a doctor or an economist. I’m also not an infectious diseases specialist or a certified financial planner. Whatever I have to say about Coronavirus, the plunging stock market or the long-term economic implications is just that, my opinion. And just like you, in this time of uncertainty and concern, I have an opinion. We form our opinions based on a blend of our instincts, which is how we feel about something, our judgment, how we think about it and the perspectives we add from the people and resources we trust and respect.”

Which raises the question; in the age of COVID-19, who do you trust? And just as importantly, who do your clients and prospects trust?

Read Joe’s article for more on “Trust in the Time of COVID-19.” And for more on selling during a global crisis, listen to my recent BrightTALK webinar, “How to Recession-Proof Your Sales in 9 Killer Steps.”

(Featured image attribution: fauxels)

Wondering how your team will keep selling in an economic downturn? Invite Joanne to lead a discussion about “How to Boost Your Sales in a Volatile Economy” at your next virtual or in-person sales meeting. Email joanne@nomorecoldcalling.com or call 415.461.8763.