How to Build TRUST with Leads

How to Build Trust With Leads

This is the blog transcript of our video “How to Build Trust With Leads”. If you’d like to see more of our videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.


Are you struggling to connect with prospects? Is your sales pitch falling not being heard by those you’d most like to do business with? Building trust with your leads is a fantastic way to connect, engage and foster a meaningful relationship. Join us as we talk about building trust with leads as part of your sales process. 

Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.

Today, we will talk about how your sales team can build trust with leads and clients. And the basis of this is a shift in thinking. Building trust with prospects is an intentional act designed to better align you with your lead. It’s not a trick, and there is no magic formula; you have to commit to doing the work.

As you shift your mindset, think about sales as less of a numbers game, as in quantity of leads over quality, and focus more on the quality of a lead. Salespeople today are in a great position to become a resource to their prospects. If they – or we – can learn how to engage in a meaningful two-way conversation and build rapport, we’ll have a better shot at a lead that turns into a long-term, quality client.

Overall, this is better for you, your company and indeed with your leads and clients. As the adage goes: no one wants to be sold to, but most people will choose to do business with someone they trust. Ergo, the trust-building has to be baked into the sales process. So, now the traditional role of a salesperson is transforming into an industry resource and trusted colleague.

And, as you listen today, try to think of yourself and your team less as salespeople and more of a resource.

Let’s jump in.

Conduct Thorough Research on Prospects and Stakeholders

There is no way around this; you’re going to have to do some research and learn about who you’re currently talking to and who you’d most want to be talking to. Going into a meeting to pitch blind is a great way to make almost any relationship short. Know who you’re talking to, understand their needs and get an idea about why they’re talking to you. If you’re not asking why you’ll never be able to understand, and you are far less likely to be able to tailor your pitch to them.

Some questions you might want to answer with your research include:

What is this lead shopping for – not just the product or service, but what else are they looking for – value – are they cost-sensitive? Comprehensive or a la carte solutions– will they look for a quick fix or a complete overhaul?

  • What do we have that can solve problems for them?
  • What other vendors or services have they used in the past?
  • Why are they shopping now for a new product or service?
  • What do we know about this industry, and how can we show that?

While it is essential to educate yourself about the relationship you’re building, it’s also critical to know when to shut up and listen! A lead wants to see that you care and you’re on the same page. They do not want to hear you talk endlessly about how you know more than they do. This can be a fine line, so practice active listening.

Active listening requires you to really pay attention. Don’t listen while you’re waiting to say what you want to say but listen so you can hear, understand, and learn. Building trust is a two-way conversation. Listen, take notes, ask questions, and you will likely gain even more insight into their needs and wants. Stay open to learning more.

And as you learn, keep notes to add to your C R M. These notes will be constructive in building your customer profile in your C R M. And, as you conduct further outreach, the information you have gathered here can help you better segment and also to create messages that can have more engagement.

Best of all, if you’ve listened and made notes, you are well on your way to building trust. This type of recall – remembering specifics or even a single detail from a past interaction – also builds confidence in a new relationship. It will reinforce to your customers and leads that you are paying attention to their needs.

Have An Elevator Speech Prepared Focused on Relevant Industry Experience and Overall Experiences.

An elevator speech or elevator pitch is a quick way of introducing yourself and your company with context. For example, “Hi, my name is Fred, and my company is blah blah” is an accurate statement, but you should put a little more thought and effort into it if you’re hoping to start a conversation.

If you don’t have your elevator pitch written down, practiced and ready to be repeated, you need to get this done. This concise intro is necessary, and you don’t want to ruin a chance to make a first impression.

Not only should you have one for you, professionally and your company, but you should craft a variation of this for a specific lead or customer you are pursuing. Not only is a concise intro welcome when you’re meeting someone, but if you can speak to their needs with a short, relevant sentence, you’re already one step ahead.

Practice your quick pitch, have it down with no doubts or hesitation and be ready to deliver it confidently. Think about this: imagine if you do get a break and get a significant stakeholder’s attention, the last thing you want them to hear is a refrain of “uh, err, um.” Get prepared with these simple steps for a lead-specific elevator pitch.

Step One, the basics.

Start with your name and company and a concise description of what your company does. For example, “I’m Ian Campbell, president of Mission Suite. We help clients build profitable relationships with C R M automation.”  It’s quick and accurate, and the description is solutions-oriented.

Step Two and Three, their specific problem and how you can solve it.

As you craft a specific elevator speech, use the research you’ve conducted to offer a solution to the problem your lead is facing. If you’ve identified a lead that needs your product and is wary about using a big corporate vendor, I would say something like, “With our service, we offer hands-on training and support for all of our clients.” This offers a small insight into your company and directly addresses a concern.

Step Four, include another key benefit.

Here, you’ll need to be as specific as possible. It’s not enough to say, “we’re the greatest, let me show you,” as it’s too general. I might end the quick pitch with something like “Mission Suite’s C R M tools have been proven to increase engagement, boost profitability and increase efficiency with sales and marketing teams,” as this also speaks to our ability to affect their bottom line. Yes, that is a little general, and I would change as I knew more about the issues they are facing.

“Hi, my name is blank, and I work for blank. We offer these solutions for companies who have this problem. We also offer this additional benefit statement or work best with these types of companies.”

Don’t blow off the elevator pitch – it is beneficial. Not only is it wise to be prepared with these concise statements ready in your mind, but it grounds you in your company mission and values. And this is critical in staying authentic when speaking with new leads.

Show That You Know the Prospects Business and Their Current Objectives

If you’re done your research, you should be able to nail this one easily. Dig deeper into the company you’re hoping to work with and find out what they are about, what challenges they might be facing and how you can solve problems for them. If someone were pitching to me and they were able to offer solutions right out of the gate, they’d have my ear for sure.

Read up on the company in the news, so you’ll know if they face any immediate changes or challenges like growth, loss, or acquisition. And while you’re at it, make sure you understand who their customers are and how their internal culture works. Likely, you won’t know it all, but the research you can do will help you get to know them and their goals.

You don’t have to have all the answers here, but most companies want to know that you can empathize with their challenges. I’ve found that using a case study from an existing client close to the prospect’s company is great reinforcement. And if you can share a similar success story, you are better aligned with their needs.

Further, if you can show some social credibility with reviews, this can also help build trust in a new relationship. And if you’re not actively working to gather reviews from your clients, you should start. Customer reviews have been proven to be one of the greatest assets for consumers, especially B2B.

Be Honest and Relatable About What Has Worked and What Has Not.

Transparency and honesty will carry any relationship a long way. When talking to leads and clients, this is the only path. It should be understood, but you should always be as honest as possible. It’s easier, and it’s just the right thing to do. But that’s not to say that you have to offer up every single detail of a misstep. If you are asked about a less-than-ideal situation, you should tell the truth, own your mistake, and move on to how you took that lesson on to future success.

Number one, when you tell the truth and own your mistake, you show vulnerability, which will build trust. Also, you don’t know how much your lead already knows about the situation, and if you aren’t truthful, you’ll look stupid and likely lose this prospect.

It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and can avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. When you admit to making a mistake, be humble. Own the mistake, share what you learned and move on.

Further, when you can point to the lessons you learned and how you either made that situation or the next situation better, you also position yourself as a resource, not just someone selling something.

This can be a tricky conversation but remember not to get defensive or upset. Treat this as a chance to prove yourself through adversity. Most of all, end this conversation on a positive note. You might also consider putting together a case study from another similar project as a way to close that subject and leave with a good feeling.

Acknowledge Any Bad Experiences from Other Vendors and Discuss How You Can Be Different

Speaking of difficult conversations, you should be prepared to know how to respond if your lead turns the conversation towards your competition. In general, I wouldn’t recommend talking about your competition, but you should know how to respond effectively if you are asked.

First, be gentle. You might want to speak to a competitor’s methods or products but don’t. Don’t name names. Don’t get too specific, and don’t build your case on the back of your competitor’s missteps. Instead, talk about you and why your product or service is excellent on its own. Drawing a comparison can backfire.

Instead of going negative, talk about your experience and how much you’ve done for your existing clients. You cannot build trust and start a relationship by bad-mouthing your competitors. You have to give this lead reasons to trust you and your abilities.

If you can, get some social proof to show your cred, too. Google reviews, letters from satisfied clients and the like are worth more than any spin your competition can put on your company. Adding a section to a presentation with some reviews is a good idea to accompany a case study, too.

On the off chance you are specifically asked about a competitor, try to frame the conversation from your client’s perspective and then use that case study to make your point. Make it clear that you understand the value of your competitor’s product or service and then move on to how you are a better fit for their needs. If you’ve done some research, you’ll know where your competitors are in relation to what you offer, so you don’t need to play dumb but focus on your company, not trashing your competition.

You’ll never be able to build a positive relationship if you focus on the negative or criticize your competition. Keep it positive and talk about all the remarkable things you can offer.

Building trust with prospects isn’t difficult, but it does take work. 

If you are mindful in how you connect, you can become a trusted resource for your leads and clients. And, it’s a new year, a new way of thinking about sales might be just what you need to kick start your best year ever! 

Hey I hope you got something out of this video. And if you did, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and maybe a share so that others can see it too. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos and while you’re at it, check out these videos too!

We’ll see you next time around!

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