By Ryan Warren, Vice President of Marketing
Sometimes, you may think that anything is easier than gaining that one picky client's trust. But, believe it or not, you can do it, because having the right knowledge at the right time is the key to understanding your customers. Yep, it's a superpower every sales rep can have if they have the right tools and the right attitude.
So, here's what you need to do: Take a deep look into your customer markets to get a complete picture of what's going on and how you can help clients, then take that knowledge and build the relationship the old-fashioned way—with some good team-building techniques and a little bit of courage.
Get the Low-Down on Your Customers
Just because customers are in a similar market as another doesn't mean they have the same needs—so, sorry to say it, but you need to do research on both. The solution that may work for Company A might just need to be tweaked for Company B, or you might have to change your entire strategy—so you need to know that before you delve into the selling process.
According to Salesforce, you need to utilize customer analytics to identify the key factors that are influencing your customer. Do they need a technical focus or a functional one? Salesforce recommended gaining knowledge about the finer points of your client's market and their share of that market before you start trying to build a relationship.
Focus on Using Your Knowledge for Good, Not Evil
The best superheroes know when to show off their stuff and when to hide it—and they always have other peoples' needs in mind. Earning your customer's trust lies in focusing your research and subsequent pitch on their pain points. In a piece for Entrepreneur, Nadia Goodman, an expert on the psychology of entrepreneurship, suggested showing your customers they can trust you through demonstrating you understand their needs and have their best interests at heart.
Roderick Kramer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University, told Goodman that trust develops when you show the customer that you are consistently working to improve their bottom line.
"Trust-building and maintenance take vigilance and sustained effort," Kramer said. "Once you have it, you can't rest on your laurels."
Bring the Client into Your Team
According to Salesforce, you may need to enter uncomfortable territory to build trust—meaning you need to think outside of the box. Sometimes, team-building activities like inviting a customer to the company retreat can go a long way. Take them out to lunch with your manager or the rest of your team. When you show the customer you value their business so much that you're going to bring them into your team, it can be the boost they need to realize that you can be trusted.
The One Thing You Can't Forget
However, Salesforce recommended that one thing must be consistent—your behavior. This is where knowledge is your secret power. If you provide exceptional customer service during your first encounter, but drop the ball by not knowing of the big merger between two of their competitors and how it may affect them during your second, their belief in you can falter.
Building a trusting relationship with your customer takes time and consistency. Conducting research into your client and their market isn't just important—it's essential if you want to develop that trust. Gathering knowledge about your customer can set you apart from your competitors and gain the confidence of a client.