You pick up the phone.
The person on the other end is motivated — really motivated — to sell their home quickly for cash. Maybe they’re dealing with foreclosure, bad tenants, or bankruptcy.
Whatever the case, they’re in a bind.
And you have the solution.
Problem is, they aren’t going to work with you just because you can solve their problem, they have to believe — trust — that you can actually solve their problem. They have to trust you and your integrity.
You know you’re trustworthy, of course, but they just met you — they don’t know that.
In just a few short moments, you have to convince them that you’re trustworthy, that you’re intelligent, and that you are the best person t0 solve their problem.
How are you going to do it?
Here are 7 ideas.
I can’t overstate the power of a smile… especially as it relates to sales.
If you’re chatting with a motivated seller in person, smiling indicates that you’re confident, friendly, like-able, and happy, which builds trust. Naturally, people trust friendly, confident, and happy salespeople more than they trust non-smilers.
If you’re on the phone, smiling automatically changes the sound of your voice to indicate the same trust-boosting qualities I mentioned above.
And if you’re still not convinced to spend more time smiling, consider the science of smiling that this fascinating Forbes article discusses.
“I started my exploratory journey in California, with an intriguing UC Berkeley 30-year longitudinal study that examined the smiles of students in an old yearbook, and measured their well-being and success throughout their lives. By measuring the smiles in the photographs the researchers were able to predict: how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest in all of the above.”
(Oh! And forcing yourself to smile can “provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 chocolate bars,” in case you like chocolate…)
2. Tell a Story
People retain 65% to 70% of information shared through stories, but only 5% to 10% of information gets retained when shared through a dry presentation of data and statistics (sorry).
Stories are compelling, memorable, and emotionally charged. They help us make smart decisions (perhaps more than anything else), they teach gentle lessons free of judgement or condemnation. And they drive us to take action.
Plus, who doesn’t love listening to a great storyteller?
Try telling the story of one of your past clients or a relevant story form your own experience. That will build immediate trust with the listener and maybe even inspire them to work with you.
3. Use The Prospect’s Name
I love the way that Dale Carnegie puts it in How To Win Friends and Influence People:
“There is no sweeter sound to one’s ear than the sound of his own name.”
Sadly, most people (salespeople included) are terrible at remembering other people’s names. And that’s for one simple reason: most people don’t understand the impact of using another person’s name — how that helps to build trust, influence, and immediate like-ability.
Try it, and watch your prospect perk up, grateful that you remembered their name and are willing to use it without hesitation.
4. Find Common Ground
People, all of us, naturally trust people who are similar to us. Think about all of the different reasons that you might become friends with someone — you love the same TV shows, you did the same sport in high-school, you have the same political views, or you believe the same religion.
These similarities unite us. And in uniting us, they create trust and confidence.
To illustrate that similar experiences unite us, J.K. Rowling wrote in one of her Harry Potter books,
“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
While you won’t be knocking out any mountain trolls with motivated sellers, you can still seek out common interests, beliefs, or values to build immediate rapport with prospects, and in so doing, gain their trust.
5. Ask TONS Of Questions
I LOVE being asked questions about what I do, who I am, my passions, my pursuits…
We all love it.
Because when we talk about ourselves, we feel important, we feel valuable — above all, we feel cared for. And who does anyone trust more than the person who is asking them authentic questions about their loves, fears, desires, pains, and beliefs, and then listening attentively?
That’s probably why top performing salespeople ask more questions and spend less time pitching offers or force-feeding information to the prospect. Authentic question-asking and active listening doesn’t just give you valuable information about the prospect, it builds trust between you and the motivated seller, almost immediately.
6. Compliment Generously (Don’t Flatter)
How long does it take you to trust someone who tells you that you have a great head of hair… or that you are extremely charismatic… or that they love your sense of style… or that they love the way you talk?
Yeah… not very long.
But I’m not talking about inauthentic flattery. I’m talking about looking at and listening to a prospect, and offering a genuine compliment on something that you admire about them. It could be something from their past (maybe they were in the military, for instance) or it could be something from the present.
Whatever the case, authentic appreciation is powerful for building immediate trust. Here’s how Dale Carnegie explains the difference between appreciation and flattery.
“The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.”
7. Do NOT Be Talkative
Talkativeness is a sign of neediness.
Think about it… how do you feel when someone is talking your ear off (salesperson or not) about who they are, what they do, and why they think they’re awesome (ha!)?
It’s annoying. It’s irritating. And it absolutely destroys rapport.
As it turns out, too many salespeople talk rather than listen; 69% of prospects want salespeople just to listen to their needs 61% want them to stop being pushy.
So slow down, ask more questions, talk less, and listen to what the motivated seller has to say. We trust people who listen to us. It’s our nature. And you can use that psychological fact to close more deals.