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I’ve been very critical of sales tips during the past six months.  My column in Sales and Marketing Management Magazine about it as well.

The simple reason is that sales tips keep salespeople and their managers focused on tactics and shortcuts rather than investing the time and effort required for planning and executing a strategic approach to sales performance improvement.

When we interview high-performing salespeople, what we consistently find is their success comes as much from who they are as what they do.  The foundation of their Personal Capital—a rep’s unique customer-valued amalgam of skills, experience, contacts and knowledge—is their customers’ trust in them.   And with respect to the companies for which those top performers work—integrity is consistently the number one or number two attribute sales people must possess.

When it comes to the subject of trust in selling there is no better source of knowledge, insight and practical advice than Charlie Green.  His wonderful book, Trust-Based Selling, is one every sales manager should read.  But let me warn you.  This isn’t a typical sales tips book to be skill-skimmed or speed-read.

Trust-Based Selling can be a key component of a strategic initiative to upgrade the quality and resulting performance of the individuals on your sales team.  Once you read this book, I don’t believe you’ll look at the subject of trust in selling in the same way ever again.

Photo credit: © Lisa F. Young – Fotolia.com


3 Responses

  1. Good article. Trust is the foundation. I’ve always liked Covey’s questions. If the first answer is NO, it’s hard to go anywhere from there.

    1. Is the person trustworthy?
    2. Can you trust them?
    3. Can you empower them?
    4. Can you be in alignment with them?

    You can’t empower, or align with, someone you don’t trust. There’s no sidestepping true character and competence.

  2. I am creating a sales skill review on just this topic. The key point is “everything you need to know about trust, you learned in kindergarten”. This is a basic human principle of behavior.
    I agree with all you write. Among its many benefits, having trust means you can make a mistake in other areas like product knowledge, the way you dress, etc. and still recover and keep a customer.
    But mistakes that lead to loss of trust are difficult, if not impossible, to recover from. This is what makes trust the single most important contributor to successful business relationships. Indeed – ANY relationship.

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