Victory Lap

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For this week’s sales tip, I’d like to dig into how trust works.

 As sales professionals, we’re always focusing on building trust with our customers and prospects, and often times, many people note that trust is a big reason as to why they’ve been so successful.

In order for you to succeed, I want to expand upon how trust works from the relationship side of things. Through my own selling career, I’ve always thought and relied on trust through friendship, empathy, and emotional closeness…all allowing individuals to trust me more. By no means is that wrong. Actually, it’s a big reason as to why someone is going to trust you. It’s called affective trust.

The other side of the coin is this thing called cognitive trust. Reliability, your skills, accomplishments, etc. This is the more logical, data-driven, cognitive reason why someone is going to trust you and your company. Why is this so important? During my sales career, I’ve gotten people to really like me (to the point where they wanted me to be the godfather to their children). However, they still wouldn’t sign the contract. It’s because what was missing was that cognitive side of the conversation and relationship.

Even though they liked me a lot, I didn’t have enough proof in terms of why that should translate into a purchase (the cognitive side of the equation). So, what’s the big reveal? In order for a sale to happen, you really need that cognitive trust as well as that affective trust. You need the reliability, the accomplishment that says, “This is going to work because we’ve done it before,” and you also need that emotional closeness, too. You hear it all the time: people buy you in addition to what you sell.

Moving forward, take a step back and look at the ways you’re building (or rebuilding) the relationship with your customers. How much of that are you relying on the affective side (likability) versus the cognitive side (playing to you/your company strengths, being reliable, having great sales skills, and the accomplishments of your customers that you’ve already sold).

In the end, make sure both are there, and you’ll increase sales overnight.