Welcome to The Pipeline.

Goodwill And Selling Now – – Sales eXecution 2570

By Tibor Shanto - tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Road to success

Goodwill: “a kindly feeling of approval and support: benevolent interest or concern”

I sales there is always talk of trust, easy to see why. But trust is not an instantaneous thing, nor can it be acquired by the pound, it has to be earned, demonstrated through actions, it needs to be reciprocal, and to the chagrin of some marketing folks, it is much more than an italicized bullet point in a brochure. Further, in sales, talk of trust brings with it an ever expanding range of opinions and advice from a number of “knowledgeable experts”.

As you would expect, the wider the range of opinions, the less likely it is that any one single source has the right, or even the “righter” answer. With trust, it is better to master a given element, learn, and build a base of success from which you can move to the next set of elements. This then becomes the iterative road should define your sales career. Unless you can definitively prove that you have figured trust, and you don’t need to evolve it further. (Hint number one, if someone claims to have the definitive answer, be suspect).

What I disagree with is the view held by some that people will not buy until a seller has established trust, or more important for sellers, that they cannot sell until they have developed trust. But since it takes time and action to establish trust, and buyers often have objectives with shorter timeframes, what do you do, especially in a quota driven reality?

The answer is Goodwill. As there is no ”Express to Trust”, think of Goodwill as the stations along the way; and great thing for you and your buyer, is that you can get sales as a result of building goodwill, avoiding the “what comes first the trust or the sale?” puzzle. We have all heard the sales expression “they don’t care how much you know until they see how much you care”; goodwill allows you to do just that.

There are myriad of ways of building goodwill with a buyer, much of it will be dictated by what you sell and your buyers objectives, another reason to implement a disciplined opportunity post-mortem routine.

As with other aspects of sales you can build goodwill if you stop doing certain things. For example, there is a leading expert, whose stuff I used to like. I say used to because every time they send out useful information, it is merely a teaser, the meaningful part is always “locked” behind a form, with a lot more detail than most forms request. While I utilize forms, there is a bunch downloads I provide to prospects that don’t require one. There are times I send prospects info and direct them right to the download, bypassing the required form. If the information is of use, I get an opportunity to engage, some goodwill, and a brick in building trust. Every time this this person writes me, I remember what a pain they are, and I score one against them.

Giving prospect access to something you normally save for clients; introducing prospects to some of your clients who could be their buyers; one company I knew had their product development folks available for a monthly Q&A for prospects the sales people selected, no selling just discussion. The choice is yours, both in terms of what and why, and the best why is it builds revenue now, and trust along the way.

Hey, if you liked what you saw here, invite me to speak at your next meeting!

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto 

Social Trust and Sales (#video)3

By Tibor Shanto - tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

TV Head

Monday I shared a clip from a discussion I had with Heidi Schwende, Chief Digital Officer & Certified Internet Consultant WSI Digital Moxie, part of WSI Internet Consulting. The interview explored the importance of and the “how to’s” of SOCIALIZING YOUR SALES SUCCESS.

Today’s snippet captures the discussion about trust, the lack there of for some traditional channels, while at the same time the elevated level of trust among social peers.

Click here to see the entire interview, let us know what you think.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto 

Customers, Employees and Influencers as High Performing Sales and Marketing Channels1

Beedon Headshot

The Pipeline Guest Post – Dick Beedon

Although brand advocacy has always been important, it is critical today. The path to purchase has changed forever. Because there is so much data available, and because communication is so easy, today’s buyer almost always seeks advice from a trusted friend or consumer source before making a purchase. Brands are now starting to realize that what others say and write about them defines who they are.

Smart brands know they must build strategies and systems to generate, track and manage brand advocacy. They know they must encourage and enable the people that know and trust them – their customers, employees and 3rd party influencers – to advocate on behalf of the brand.

And it works. By encouraging and empowering these customers, employees and influencers, they will drive peer-to-peer referrals, forward content, share information about new products and promotions, and write testimonials. And they can do it at scale and more efficiently than traditional channels.

The Benefits of New Channels are Compelling (examples)

  1. They Build Brand Awareness – when a customer shares something about the brand with a friend, there is no better way of building the brand.
  2. They Generate Leads – those friends that respond and go to the brand for more information become the best leads a brand can get. There are few people on earth who will argue that leads generated from referrals are the best leads. 
  3. They Drive New Customer Acquisition – Leads from referrals close faster, they buy more and they stay longer. 

Other reasons customers, employees and influencers make good sales and marketing channels;

1.  Identify Brand Advocates and Build a Rich “Social” Data Set

Brand Advocates are identified when they register for or engage with your programs. By using technology systems, brands know who “opts-in” and advocates, how often they do it, what their sharing preferences are and how big their network is. We learn who they know and how influential they are. Brands are able to now get a deeper 360 view of their customer’s network value.

2. You’ll Know when Potential Customers are “In-Market”
Social channels provide insights and information not previously available. At the most basic level, social channels extend a brand’s sales force (with zero overhead) and they solve one of the biggest challenges brand’s face: knowing when a potential buyer is in-market. Only your current customers know when the people they know are ready to buy.
3. The cost of acquisition is lower.
This channel is always on and continually active – making referrals, amplifying products and promotions, and posting positive information about your brand. Brand advocates do this for a brand because they trust the brand and they want do it. Therefore, the time and cost invested into this channel is significantly less than other channels.
4. New customers that are referred by someone in your Social Channel are Valuable.
Research has consistently shown that consumers who convert as a result of a referral from a friend, are more loyal to a brand, spend more and stay longer.

Who are your Potential Channels and how Well can they Perform?

Customers, partners and employees are the fastest growing sales and marketing channel today. By utilizing the latest in social marketing software and technology, business leaders can mobilize these social relationships to generate new customers, and they can track and manage social behavior that is critical to the success of their company.

Customers recommend your products because they have first-hand, positive experience with them.

Today’s truly successful companies understand the importance of leveraging their customers into sales and marketing channels that drive corporate productivity. Creating and cultivating a large group of advocates can: pay huge dividends in the growth of your brand, increase subscribers, and boost profits. The financial investment to create this channel is minimal when you compare it to the long-term payoff for the brand.

About Richard Beedon

Richard Beedon is a founder and CEO of Amplifinity.  Beedon has led the acquisition of both Entyre Doc Prep (by Wolters Kluwer) and University Netcasting, who merged with Student Advantage (now collegesports.com) and was acquired by CBS. Dick’s thought leadership and early adaption of SaaS based technologies that allow brands to manage advocacy marketing has been instrumental in the success and growth of Amplifinity.

Managers – Give Up Your Phone Addiction – Sales eXchange 2230

By Tibor Shanto - tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Multi tasking Manager

With all the challenges sales professionals have to face in the field, the amount of tests they endure to their patience, it is sometimes disheartening when they are disrespected by their own colleagues, especially their front line managers.

One common example is managers who answer their phone, text, e-mail during a meeting with one of their direct reports, especially during scheduled coaching or review meetings. But this happens much more regularly than many think, and I suspect, more than many of the managers guilty of the act actually realise.

While many fancy themselves as being great multi-takers, few are, we are not built that way. While we may be able to talk on the phone and press the elevator button, we are not able to do really important tasks with any degree of real quality. And what can be more important than coaching and leading your team, those people who either make you look good or real bad based on how they perform. There is no doubt on occasion, let me repeat, once in a while, something really important will come up to disturb a meeting with a team member, but I am talking about the other time.

How many times have you sat there in you managers office, and they are checking their e-mail as you speak, first on their desktop monitor and then on their smartphone just for good measure. They answer the phone, flashing the obligatory smile and the one minute gesture, which only adds to their insincerity and effectiveness as a leader.

It is bad enough that sales people to endure this type of thing in the field, they should not face it in their managers’ office. Sales people put up with people answering their phones only to tell them that they are in a meeting. Given all the tools available to people today, the overwhelming pervasiveness of caller ID and voice mail, it is hard to understand why people would answer a phone from an unknown number while they are in a meeting, unless of course they are sales managers meeting with a member of their team.

Sales people also have to put up with this in meeting with prospects, fidgeting about with their electronic pacifiers, or modern day worry-beads. While one can argue that if the prospect is so disengaged a rep should move on, it is also true that many are behind quota and see any meeting as a meeting, I guess they need to look at the outcome to come to their own conclusion. But in the end it should not be a scene they have to deal with internally with their manager, especially when the time was scheduled for them to be coached.

As an aside, I often wondered when I called someone and they tell me that they are in a meeting, whether I work my magic and get them to engage, or it is a short call, I wonder what the other person in their office feels like at the time, how fast are their priorities fading?

I remember I had a boss who felt he needed to be involved in everything, right then and there, the phone would not ring a second time before he answered it. I remember he would take a call while meeting with me, then answer his mobile when that rang, what a circus. The next time I was meeting with him and he answered his phone, I got up and walked out, I think the first time he did not even notice he got so involved in the call. The next time he looked up and asked “Where are you going?” “You must be busy, I got things to get done, and I don’t want to hold you up.” After that he never answered the phone while meeting with me.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto  

Can Technology Undermine Trust?14

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

broken trust

Had an interesting discussion with a rep Jim, last week around the area of trust. He works for smaller company, they use various technologies to help them with lead gen and nurturing. Two specific apps enable him to track who has opened his e-mails, and the other lets him know who has visited his company’s web site, right down to specific pages. As you can imagine, with the right content, laced with specific links, a seller can gain some great insights.

Having worked with the team, I know that they are diligent about avoiding and or removing objections. Jim was on the phone with a potential buyer who asked that Jim send him some info before committing to an appointment, Jim tried everything we put in our Objection Handling Handbook, but in the end had to send some info.  As per the teams SOP, he only sends e-mail, chock full of links, and scheduled a follow up call to review.  Over the next few days Jim saw the prospect read the e-mail, both in the office and on his mobile device.  He saw the footprints on the website, hitting critical target pages, Jim was ready for the call back.

The Objection Handling Handbook, instructs sellers to continue taking away objections on call back, encouraging sellers to start the call by saying: “Hi Mr./Ms. Prospect, this is Jim calling back, following up on the information I promised to forward, you probably haven’t had a chance to read it, have you?”  Thus taking wary the obvious and common dodge.

Feeling confident as a result of technology, Jim skipped the take away, and left himself open, and disappointment by asking the buyer if he had reviewed the e-mail, and letting the facts get in the way of process, he assumed the buyer would lead with the fact that he did read the note and visited the website.

Well guess what, yup, the buyer took a left turn and you know it, “Jim, I am up to my eyeballs in alligators, and just have not had a chance to get to it, leave it with me and I’ll get back with you as soon as I have”.  Jim, got back and program and managed to secure a face to face appointment with the buyer, and the cycle is progressing.

Jim was upset for two reasons, one he could fix, specifically the approach and methodology.  By executing the follow up call according to plan, regardless of whether he knew if the prospect had read his e-mail, or visited the desired pages on the company web site.

The second was a bit more problematic for Jim, while not being naïve, he was looking to establish trust with the buyer and felt that the buyer had undermined that opportunity.  While he will continue to engage with the prospect, and will continue to be honest, straight forward and ethical with the buyer, he says he will always have a hint of doubt as to the integrity of what this buyer will tell him, and by extension other buyers.

In the end technology does not replace human interaction, and with any interaction there is some give and take.  I pointed out to Jim that the buyer may have had some reasons for not being straight with Jim, including bad experiences with other sellers, perhaps looking to see what kind of rep Jim is, or any number of reasons.  Trust is not instantaneous, it takes time and familiarity, which why I am surprised when some pundits talk about being able to establish trust right out of the gate, or even on a voice mail.

More importantly, technology is there to support the effort, not replace it, had Jim stuck to the program, he would have been able to respond to the situation more effectively, but he had painted himself into a corner, not the technology.

Having said that, it does raise the issue of how fragile trust is, and how easily it is undermined by technology.  While the buyer may argue that they were being spied on, they should also be aware that there are no secrets on the internet, and any time you click a link, you have company.

What do you think of Jim’s dilemma, and whether technology can in fact undermine trust?

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Time To Grow Up – Sales eXchange 1980

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

grow up

When my kids were young and they would wish for something not real, or as a way to avoid a task, like “I wish I didn’t have to clean my room”, “I wish I could grow up to be a princess”, their grandmother always responded by saying “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride”.  It’s interesting how that expression has great significance and application to many sales people and sales advisors, all now grown-ups.

I am speaking specially of advice doled out by some sales pundits that serves more to placate and patronize readers than help them improve their selling skills and success, delivering clichés and politically correct feel good myth, instead of proven and practical road tested advice based on experience.  While we all want to make our audience feel good, I think it is more important to provide pragmatic advice that yields measurable results, even when it requires effort on the part of the reader and will often force them from their comfort zones.  I for one do not see a problem in challenging readers and sellers, and do not apologize for creating some discomfort in helping them succeed.  Much better than some of the sugar coated buzzword riddled schmaltz others seem to be peddling in an effort to make sellers feel good and allow them to rationalize their lack of effort, inventiveness and results.  But as we all know sugar highs don’t last.

If you are wondering why I am on about this, it’s because once again I have someone taking a shot at my often debated, never disproven voice mail technique, not because it doesn’t work, it does, but because it does not appeal to their “sensibilities”, a sensibility that leads to no returned calls.  As usual the technique is misrepresented, making it easier to cast in a questionable light, they then schmear a load of subjectivity mixed with value judgment, and raising but not speaking to the specifics of words like “trust” or “ethics”.

The reality is that there are no absolutes in sales, nothing works all the time, every time, most things don’t work most the time, so when you have a technique that proves to be 30% – 50% effective, you have something worth adopting.  What’s more, while the technique may seem counter intuitive at first, those who try it, report back a consistent success rate.  Recently there was a debate in a LinkedIn group, there were many who questioned the technique, who once they tried it, liked it, mostly because it got them call backs and appointments.

Most recently, the technique was again misrepresented, and labeled asinine.  I bet I can find some internal memos at most record companies dating back to 10 years ago that called iTunes an asinine way to sell and consume music.  I bet there were some Blockbuster folks who called Netflix asinine.  Interestingly few are willing to challenge it head on.  One challenger was invited to debate the technique on “This Week In Sales” webcast, but declined, I wonder why; not the worst thing, I had the whole show to myself.

As an industry, “sales enablers”, we keep highlighting the fact that only 50% of B2B reps make quota, well what is our role in that?  If we do not push them to better themselves by trying, new, alternative, and yes at times outlandish but effective methods.  We should challenge our audience, not just dust off the edges of tired techniques that play to the emotion of the reader even while ignoring the fact that what is being peddled are just retreads with new labels.

In the end it is down to the reader, our consumer, they choose how they want to make or not make quota.  In the end the readers are like we the pundits, some know what is Shinola, and what’s not.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

I’d Rather You Trust Me Rather Than Like Me! – Sales eXchange 16750

Sales is not without its share of wife’s tales or empty sayings, passed down from one generation of sales people to the next.  Some are considered universal, despite the fact that it has been a long time since they related to anything in specific to selling consistently and successfully.  But they sound good, and you generally get “bonus” points for saying them in the right discussion, on social media or sales seminars.  You don’t know how hard I have to hold back from rolling my eyes or taking someone full on when they drop one of these untruths in my workshops.  In most instances, these are completely wrong, or off the mark, but go unchallenged because they have taken cultural roots in the sales mythology.

One of these is the notion that “people buy from people they like”.  BS!  We have all bought from people we did not necessarily like or would want to spend time with outside the business at hand.  What people really mean is that “people buy from people they trust”, but many sellers have difficulty creating trust, and have a much easier time “getting liked”.  Some are good at being likable, others go to the most common denominator, and buy their adoration.  One fellow I was debating the issue with this week, offered this when I asked him how his team achieves being liked: “a couple reps taking prospects to the Giants Rockies game on Thursday couple reps taking prospects to the Giants Rockies game on Thursday”.   Gee, what do you do in non-Major League towns?

This no different than the reps who rather than dealing directly with objections or giving sound reason to a buyer for meeting say “I’ll bring the coffee, how do you take it”.

Sure it is effective, it may even generate the illusion of being liked, until someone more “likeable” read bigger presents, comes along.  You don’t know how many times I speak to reps who lost existing accounts who say, “I thought he liked me”; sure he did till someone more likeable came along.

On the other hand, if you build trust, and maintain and grow trust, you build a more solid foundation for a business relationship.  And that is what we are dealing with a business relationship, if you are trustworthy in the way you do business, in how you help them achieve their objectives, you will be on much safer ground than if you pretend they like you.  There are people we all trust that may not be at the top of our “like” list; but they are at the top of reliability list, capability list, straight intentions list, etc.

If you want to start to work on your trust index, there are lots of great choices, I would recommend you start with Charles H. Green, and work from there.

I have had clients who I knew did not like me in any particular way, but when it came to trust, recommendation to others, and relying on for honest advice and helping their business, I have been their go to person for years, because they trust me, and they LIKE the work I do.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

What’s Your Story – Sales eXchange – 13126

People love a good story; in fact, a good story can make up for other shortcomings one may face.  How many times have you left a movie thinking the acting was great, but the plot – the story lacked, and as result took away from the experience?  Sales people face similar challenges, we have all left meetings knowing that our presentation style, timing, and other elements were really good, but we failed to capture the imagination of the buyer because our story was off or missed the mark.

A good story is integral in a number of ways to sales success, and can often be the difference in a buyer choosing you over a viable competitor.  A good story works on a number of levels, helping buyers get engaged, motivating him/her to take action critical to moving the sale forward.

Buyers ultimately buy into your story before they may buy your product, and best of all will tell “your story”, the one he/she likes, to other people in the company who can impact the sale, as a result, a good story can keep on giving beyond the first time you tell it.  Now I want to be clear, when I say story, I don’t mean BSing your buyer, but rather presenting things in a way that is easier for them to consume, understand and trust.

Think of your own experience with stories, when you were a child, you loved listening to stories, at home, day care, even early school years.  They let you visualize scenes that were good, they delivered subtle life lessons, and formed your outlook on certain subjects.  Add to that the element of trust inherent in a story, think back when you sat with one of your parents, grandparents, or your teacher at story time, people you trusted; a good story invokes a feeling of trust in addition to communicating a message.  Those same ancient elements are still at play no matter how sophisticated one may pretend to be, or where they buy their suits.  The same factors that cause us to flinch when we hear a loud noise or experience thunder and lightning, cause us to have a positive reaction, a warm feel and trust when we hear a good story.  You may own a super-smart-phone, but our instincts are still in caveman.Ø.

In sales, as in earlier days, a story has to have a beginning, a middle, end, and moral.  You need to Engage the buyer, draw them in during Discovery, Gain their trust and commitment, and you have to deliver the goods at the end.  The moral is of course is the beneficial impact on the client’s objective that only your offering can deliver, anything short of that would just expose the buyer to the risks outlined in the plot of your story.

So take time to develop your narrative, don’t overlook the benefit of setting out a story board; while I am not big on PowerPoint presentations, if you are going to use them, make sure you incorporate a good story.  One based on elements that have proven successful in previous sales, while avoiding those that have scared people off.  If like me, you rely on questions and dialogue, you can still plan ahead and make sure that the story of your offering, the direct impact on the buyer is at the core of the exchange, and that the plot moves towards a simple and logical conclusion for the buyer.  What better opportunity for sales and marketing to work together to deliver something impactful beyond glossy collateral.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Sales in a New World – Choosing your Customer18

The Pipeline Guest Post – Jeff Ogden

We used to go far and wide looking for customers.

Cold calls, email blasts, webinars, etc. – all designed to attract interested buyers. We were looking for the proverbial nugget of gold – a prospect with pain and a budget.

But in this age of empowered buyers, where an executive can do his own research ad hoc – that strategy is growing less and less effective. Prospects avoid salespeople and do their own research.

I recommend you consider a new approach. Choose your customers.

In addition to the marketing strategies outlined above, list out the 10-12 ideal customers your company would like to win. Then devise a strategy to crack those accounts. I’ll share some ideas on how to do it.

Let’s say you want a dominant market share in financial services by winning showcase customers.

One of the biggest names in financial services is American Express. Having American Express as a client would impress everyone. But there is one problem – American Express has never heard of your company. So what do you do?

We know picking up the phone and making a cold call is very unlikely to yield good results. So what works to engage us in American Express?

I believe it is the combination of Trust and Timing that yields results today.

Let’s examine each of those>

Trust

Trust is built slowly, patiently and deliberately. I believe in the adage “Give to get.” This means you need to invest time and effort into HELPING American Express executives. How can you help them?

1.    Thoughtful blog comments
2.    Retweets of their tweets
3.    Personal, handwritten note sharing something of interest.
4.    Attend one of their events
5.    Get involved in the execs outside interest.

Case in point, the CEO of American Express presented his company at

American Express Company at Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference December 07, 2010 10:30 a.m. ET
The presentation and content from the CEO’s presentation are posted on the American Express website. The CEO shares the business results, strategy and more. What do you think he wants to talk about? Your products? Or how American Express can compete more effectively against Visa and Mastercard?

Here’s is one very simple thing you can do? Listen to Ken Chenault’s presentation. Get some executive stationary. Hand-write a note to Ken, and comment on something you learned from his presentation. Sell nothing. I guarantee it will resonate with him.

You can also attend these events. Every year American Express does an investors day. Admission is free. And all their top executives are there. I am shocked at how many salespeople fail to take advantage of these events.

Timing

Timing is essential.  You need to contact American Express at the time they are most receptive to your message. This means some type of trigger event. Maybe they hire or promote an executive. Or they announce earnings. Or they buy a company.

Regardless, you need to wait for the optimal moment to contact them.

If you have patiently earned their trust and contact them at the optimal moment, you have a great chance of winning a showcase client. You really can pick your customers.

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden is President of Find New Customers “Lead Generation Made Simple” Find New Customers helps companies like yours (with 50 to 5,000 employees and complex products) implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in online lead generation.

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Achieving Trust! – Sales eXchange – 9512

Trust is one of the holy grails in sales, when they trust you, they will reward you by buying from you.  As with other aspects of sales, the above is straight forward enough, achieving is not always that.  For many in sales there are some challenging things about trust.

First is defining it, everyone talks about trust, everyone tries to define it, each in their own way, ask 10 experts you end up with 12 definitions (at least).  One thing is clear, there is not one definitive definition, in fact type trust into Amazon.com, and you get 54,235 results just in the book section.  Add to that volume of books, blogs and video and more, and it is easy to see why it is such a challenge.  Many overlap, some are unique, some are from the most untrustworthy sources, others have reduced it graphs and stick diagrams (welcome to the IKEA version of trust), trust me, I’ve read them.

In sales some seem to talk out of both sides of their mouth. One side “they won’t engage until there is trust”; next breath: “takes regular interaction over time and to build trust”.  So if they won’t engage with me till they trust me, and they won’t trust me they will not engage with me, I am sort of in a tough spot.  The fact remains that unless you are foreign policy expert, you can’t suck and blow at the same time, so we need to figure out a different approach.

While it is hard to argue that that people are more like to buy and deal with people they have developed trust with and in; it is far from accurate that you cannot engage without trust or that it takes a long time to develop enough trust to be bought from. Add to that it is not as hard to work on building trust as some would have you believe, but to be clear it does take work, but it is not hard.

One common and followed definition for trust cites the following elements as foundational:

  • Intent
  • Results
  • Competence/qualifications
  • Integrity

If you accept this, even as a starting point, you do a lot and go a long way to initiating trust even with people who may not have bought from you in the past.  Assuming your Intent is to help and add value through your interaction, you have the opportunity to communicate that in various and direct ways that the buyer can identify with.  Support that with Competence and your (your company’s and your) Qualification, based on Results to date and you can take big strides in demonstrating that you are trustworthy and worth engaging with.  Remember, you are not out to sell them in the first step, you are looking to engage, and the three elements above give you the means to do that.

Integrity may be a bit more challenging, but not out of reach.  With a solid record of accomplishment, you cannot only demonstrate success because of your integrity, but with a bit of pro-activity, you can collect validation from other clients or trusted sources to back it up.

As with most things in sales, it is down to the execution.  The added bonus here is that the way you execute you initial approach to a potential buyer, the way you introduce and leverage the four elements can in fact propel trust with said prospect and propel the resulting sales cycle.

Key is to be prepared, having solid evidence for each of the four elements, and then communicating it in a way that a potential buyer will understand, consume, process and act on it.  That is where the hard work comes in, because they may be common elements, but they unfold and are consumed in as many different ways as there are potential buyers.  Having said that, once you master the process, you can evolve and use it continuously to engage prospects and move sales forward.

One last consideration, you not only have to build trust, but maintain it and live up to it on an ongoing basis.  Some sales people make the mistake of focusing on it early in the relationship, and then taking it for granted, until they lose the account because someone capitalizes on your neglected trust.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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