Why Trust Is Critical In Sales Negotiation

All sales professionals need to build a range of relationships with customers to maximise sales and to increase the opportunities for further sales to existing customers. The most successful relationships in any commercial setting are based firmly upon trust between both parties.

Customers will automatically trust sales professionals that they believe to be ethical, leading to a much more productive partnership.

Although trust is an essential element of every sale, the meaning of trust changes with the type of sale concerned.

  1. Trust in transactional sales. The primary focus here is on the reliability of the product. Is the product priced as low as possible and can it be delivered in a timely fashion? If the answer to these questions is yes then a purchase may go ahead with relatively low trust in an unknown sales person.
  2. Trust in consultative sales. Here the focus has moved to the person who is selling the item. The buyer really needs to know if the sales person can be trusted to come up with the goods as discussed. Psychologically the buyer here does not separate the product from the sales person as the seller actually becomes part of the product hence the need to make sure that there is a strong sense of trust. Here warmth, empathy, competence, integrity and openness are critical success factors in building that trust.
  3. Trust in strategic alliance sales. The strategic alliance buyer wants to do business with an institution that can be trusted. This buyer looks well beyond the sharp-suited sales person and will be assessing the whole organisation’s ability to deliver and to deliver consistently. Similarly there will be a matching of organisational values going on and ethical accountability will greatly influence the way in which an alliance partner is judged and valued.

Trust exists when we strongly believe in the integrity, ability and character of a person or company. Although it cannot be realistically measured it is at the centre of all meaningful and productive relationships.

Trust is lost very quickly and only gained very slowly. Once a trusting relationship has broken down the odds on it being re-established are very small indeed.

Good Luck!

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