Saturday, June 15, 2024
Business File

How to build trust with a prospect faster and win the job

By John Corban –

If you think back over the last few years, you may have ‘clicked’ with some prospects from the first conversation, and trust probably developed very quickly. So, let’s break down what happens at the beginning of the sales process when the interaction is great and trust builds quickly, so you can replicate this process with every prospect whenever you choose.


Often a prospect becomes aware of your business via social media, your website, driving by signage, or recommended by your client or associate. They will nearly always visit your website or Instagram/Facebook page prior to contacting you, so it is here where you need to ensure credibility starts to develop. Credibility is the main precursor to building trust. Here is a small marketing checklist.

  • Keep your social media marketing, and website, updated and active. Continue posting quality pictures and videos so potential clients can stay engaged and impressed. Professional pictures of your work and team members are important to maintain a compelling profile that communicates your brand could be the one for them.
  • Alliances with Industry Associations, professionals, and Industry Licences will also help to build credibility, so keep them visible on websites and brochures.
  • Magazine articles, awards, and testimonials updated and posted on your website and profiles, all contribute to building social proof and credibility.

Do you really want this job?
Let’s assume you have qualified this prospect well, over the phone or with an email questionnaire and phone call, and are ready to meet and discuss their needs.

Arrive prepared and on time.
Prepping in advance for the meeting is key to setting the stage for a positive first impression. Text them and confirm the meeting, plan your meeting with a checklist – a summary of phone conversation or email, images on your iPad, brief sheet or anything else that prepares you. Be well groomed and ready.

The initial meeting

  • Be truthful & consistent
    Stay consistent with answers. Be honest if you don’t know an answer, rather than making up an answer. Your honesty and consistency will build credibility and trust.  
  • Set your phone to silent
    Don’t constantly check for texts or emails. Placing your focus on connecting with, and helping a prospect, will make them feel they are top priority.
  • Smile!
    Smiling and using people’s names when speaking to them is important when building a connection and trust.
  • Intention – it’s not a sales meeting, it’s just a conversation
    At this meeting, have the intention of just having a conversation. It will take the pressure off you and allow you to gain a rapport and show you are really interested in helping this prospect. When you go along with the intention of having a conversation and not selling, you will ask better questions and let the prospect talk more and allow the connection to establish itself. This initial conversation is a time when you want to find out as much as possible about the prospects needs and wants, while being honest, polite and helpful.

Deliver the unexpected
A great way to set yourself apart from others is to surprise and delight. Delivering more than what a prospect expects is a great building block for trust and will certainly impress them. What if you were to predict some possible future concerns and objections they may have, and address them in your initial meeting. Or what about showing them future 3D images of similar designs that contain the elements they have discussed with you. Think of ways you can pleasantly surprise your prospects.

It goes without saying that if you have said a proposal or quote will be sent by a certain date, make sure it does. You need to convince this prospect that you and your company is a sound choice for their hard-earned dollars.

Continue to enhance your credibility with all the above important points to build trust so your future first meetings continue to be a favourable, enjoyable and winning experience. 

John Corban
Business Coach for Landscapers,

Horticulturists and Nursery owners
Mob: 0433 27 1980

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