Strategies for Building Trust with External Audiences
In today’s B2B buying environment, buyers look at reviews, talk with their peers and do research before ever contacting the company they’re interested in purchasing a product/service. With more informed buyers, how do companies continuously build trust with prospects, current clients, etc.? We asked five top sales leaders from Chicago and Indianapolis about their tips on building trust with external audiences. Here are their answers:
Dave Duke, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer at MetaCX: I believe the path to creating a culture of trust with prospects and customers is through consistent communication, honesty and thinking about the best interests of key stakeholders. If we can consider the impact of every interaction and the decisions we are making within the sales cycle and customer relationship, we have a better chance of creating trust within the relationship.
Todd Caponi, Author of The Transparency Sale: Today, anyone buying anything relies on reviews and feedback shared by strangers and often trusts those anonymously posted experiences more than you, the seller. Your products & services aren't perfect. In B2B selling, if your prospects are getting nothing but "we're-perfect" speak from you, it's easy for them to find out how you're not. As counterintuitive as it may seem, leading with your flaws and embracing transparency builds trust from the first conversation, speeds up cycles & increases win rates, while playing your cards face-up will keep that trust long term.
Stephanie Jenkins, VP of SMB Sales at Glassdoor: It starts with credibility. We have always had a very strong PR and communications department that helps position Glassdoor as a cornerstone for all things jobs, salaries, company reviews, interviews or benefits related. We also give so much of our product away for free to users and prospects to help ensure that they are as informed as possible - that helps build a lot of trust! We run a lot of webinars and create resources like eBooks or white papers for potential customers to understand how to utilize the Glassdoor platform without paying. It helps all of our prospects feel comfortable and welcome when there is so much they can learn and do for free on Glassdoor.
Helee Lev, CRO at Goby: Let our customers sell our product...the best sales people are happy customers, and prospects trust their peers more than professional sales people who they know are coin-operated and have a one-track mind...
Annually, at our UGM (we call it GOLE), we bring together veteran clients and new customers, and sprinkle in some prospects for good measure. We provide unobtrusive, non-self serving content with the main goal being to get the attendees to schmooze/share stories live and in a fun and collaborative environment...the best deals sometimes get done in that room (by our own customers).
Chris Rechtsteiner, VP of Marketing at ServerCentral Turing Group: Trust is gained by being true to your word and acting with honesty in a timely fashion. Always doing right by the prospect, even when the action or decision may not move your company ahead in the evaluation process, isn't easy but it is the only way to truly establish you (individually) and your company (collectively) as a true partner.