One of the foundational steps in any sales professional’s arsenal is that; people buy from those that they like, trust and remind them of themselves. Therefore, why does it seem to be impossible to build trust with our prospects and even clients?
It may not be something that you are necessarily doing, but there are some that are tainting the whole profession by doing some of the following. In other words: “One bad apple does spoil the whole bunch.” Make sure you are not one of those bad apples.
- Misleading advertising: Have you ever uttered: “This deal is just too good to be true”? The reason you uttered that is that in all likelihood, it is. Carefully check the fine print, or make sure that you are aware of any price manipulation.
- Price manipulation: This is my favorite and we have all fallen for this one. My wife is the one that made me aware of price manipulation a long time ago. A major grocery chain had one of those ‘too good to be true’ specials on a commodity, toilet paper. They were offering 60% off their regular price. I should state for the record that, if there is one person in this world that knows their pricing, it’s my wife. She went in and looking at the so-called ‘regular price’ confronted the manager by asking why the ‘regular price’ had jumped by almost 30% before putting the 60% off sale price. Be aware, as this is common practice in the retail market. You increase the supposed regular selling price, before offering a ridiculous discount.
- The ridiculous discount: Ever been to a place that, without even asking for it, you get a ridiculous, 65% or more, discount? This happens when the store overprices everything on their shelves and then look like heroes, by offering a massive discount. I used to sell a product to an industrial retailer for $35.00 each. They put it on the shelf for $349.00 each. Every other retailer that I had sold the same item, was retailing in the neighborhood of $125.00. When I asked for some clarity from the product manager, his comment to me was: “Don’t worry Joe everyone gets a 65% discount to start with.” That discount brought the price down to $125.65. However, how many people looked at the item with the price on the shelf and just left? Why not just price the items where they should be and avoid any confusion?
Trust is very difficult to build and it may take more than one transaction to build it. However, how can we, as sales professionals, blame our clients and prospects for not trusting the industry as a whole when some of the above situations happen? How can we expect them to trust us if we ‘mislead, manipulate and are willingly participate in fictitious pricing?’
As an action step, everyone that believes as I do, that the above practices have no room in today’s business world, let’s make sure that we ourselves are not being involved in these. By building the trust in your customers as well as in all likelihood, in the customers that your competitors have that may be doing the above, you may get the competitors to change to a more ethical way of doing business.
“Don’t let someone’s mistake prevent you from building trust with someone else.”