How to Build Trust in the Initial Sales Conversation

Craig Wortmann

April 27, 2016   Follow

High- performing sales professionals and executives make conscious time to network and explore new leads. In business, building trust quickly has several benefits. Not only does it make you memorable but also incredibly valuable. Recovering from a bad first meeting is hard to do but there are several easy ways to avoid fumbling and instead create a positive first impression.  

What not to do 

Don’t treat initial conversation like a round of speed dating. It’s a poor idea to spend your time ranting about your qualifications and accomplishments. There is a time and place for this and it is best received coming from someone other than you. You don’t want to be remembered as the one who wouldn’t stop talking about themself. Instead focus on them and be a good listener. Make eye contact and ask questions that have impact.

Find out how to ask high impact questions by watching the video: 

What you should do

Be prepared.

To ensure you’re ready for conversation do quick research about your subject before the meeting. This doesn’t need to exceed a few minutes and can help move conversation forward if there is a lull. Be ready with two or three key facts about them that are unique and interesting to you.

Be dependable.

Think about someone you trust. Whether it’s your boss or your significant other, chances are you trust them because they’ve proved to be dependable. You can count on them! Take this opportunity to showcase that you are a man/woman of your word. Confirm your meeting place, date and time the day before. If you promise materials after the meeting provide them within 24 hours. (Sooner is better!)   

Be funny.

Humour is disarming and when used appropriately can increase overall comfort and trust.

Be self-effacing in an authentic way.

Authenticity is key! Admit your foibles. Many think this destroys credibility but in theory it has the opposite effect. Sharing concerns or mistakes you’ve made in your professional career is one of the quickest ways to build trust. It shows you’re authentic and not only showing your best face.

Send a thank you note (preferably handwritten).

Following up your meeting with a thank you note will help you to stay top of mind. Handwritten notes are the most impactful.

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