Salespeople can be quite cautious when it comes to trust. Perhaps more so than other departments in the organization. It’s almost the nature of the beast since goals & strategies can change often and, frankly, it seems like customers, competitors, and even management like to change the rules of the game with or without warning. Yup, salespeople can be a cynical bunch. But this does not excuse us from creating and maintaining trust for them. Salespeople always perform better when they feel and receive trust; it’s just easier said than done.
Trust takes time to create. It is a mixture of experience, perception, and gut feelings. What we do as managers can either reinforce the sales team’s attitudes and beliefs (good bad and otherwise), or we can make a deliberate effort to improve this critical team dynamic. So, how do you get someone to trust you? How can we break through someone’s defense system that will allow them to contribute and communicate more meaningfully? After all, the more trust that exists, the more likely we are to achieve our goals and solve problems together. Let’s take a look at a 6-step process that you can work on together with your team.
Sincerity – Being sincere is your opportunity to show others what is in your heart. How can you demonstrate that you are looking out for everyone’s interests and not your own? Are your intentions clear and noble? Will your actions match your words and, furthermore, are your words believable?
Transparency – Being transparent is the fastest way to demonstrate honesty. Are you telling the truth? Are you withholding important information? Are you sharing the same message with everyone?
Reliability – Being reliable makes people feel safe because they know what to expect. Are you going to do what you say you are going to do? Are you setting the proper expectations? Can we count on you?
Reciprocity – This is our way of treating others as equals. Will you be vulnerable with others if they are vulnerable with you? Will you accept and keep promises? Will you strive to achieve mutual benefits? Are you willing to trust others the way you expect them to trust you?
Consistency – Being consistent reinforces trust. Will you be equally dependable each time trust is given and expected? Will others know what to expect from you? Do you demonstrate a pattern of behavior? Are your attitudes and actions predictable?
Delivery – Delivering on trust is our moment of truth. Were promises fulfilled? Was the sensitive information guarded? Was your communication honest? Was the work completed accurately and on time? Did you treat everyone fairly?