How to Become a Trusted Advisor: Capitalizing on a Critical Trust Event
Every sales professional wants to become a trusted advisor, someone who customers call when they need help. A trusted advisor delivers solid, valuable advice that shortcuts finding a solution. This lets the customer focus on what they do best by while the sales pro delivers the services they do best. Read on to learn about the Critical Trust Event, the situation that transforms an ordinary sales person into a trusted advisor.
What creates trust in your customers? Is it your promises? Is it your guarantee? Is it your customer list? Is it your market share? If you are counting on any of these to create trust, you are sadly mistaken.
Customers don’t really trust what you’ve done for others. They only really trust what you’ve done for them in challenging situations.
Trust Comes From Performance
A psychologist once told me that it takes eleven positive events to overcome a single negative event. This means you must build up many positive situations to create trust. Your customers can only trust you after they see personal evidence of trustworthy behavior.
This means you have to perform to gain trust. Show up on time: get a trust point. Deliver your proposal on time: gain a trust point. Keep your word: gain a trust point. Be viewed as having integrity: gain a trust point. When you perform to the expectations you set with your customer, you get a trust point. Miss that expectation and you lose eleven points.
When The Chips are Down, Amplify Trust
You can gain many, many points if you can deliver in an emergency. This is a Critical Trust Event. Let’s say that your customer has to get a new product on line in the next 24 hours. With your help, you can get them going. You have tickets to see your favorite band in their farewell concert this evening. What do you do? You get to choose.
If you forgo the show (give the tickets to another customer and you get double points) and get your customer on line, you’ve just generated 100 trust points. And if you play your cards right, you might get the boss to pay for you to travel to catch the next show. (It’s happened!)
Guard Trust Like it’s Solid Gold
Do everything you can to keep all the trust points you can. This means you can’t take your eye off the ball. A few moments of inattention and you can destroy all that work you’ve done. This is why sales professionals don’t like to take like to take vacations. (Although if you create your backup systems, you can. That’s another post.)
When you create and protect lots of trust in your customers, your competitors don’t have a chance.
As always, if you want 15 minutes with me, contact me and we can talk about what you need to do to create more customer trust.