In baseball, a triple play is the rare act of making three outs during the same continuous play. In sales, it’s the ability to gain the customer’s trust in three crucial areas: the product, the dealership, and the salesperson. All relationships, and therefore sales, are built on trust in these three elements. Ask any top salesperson what contributes to their success, and they’ll put building trust at the top of the list.
What is Trust?
Trust is defined as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. When earned, trust, translates to sales, repeat business, loyalty, and referrals. When violated, it breeds anger, betrayal, hurt, and skepticism, especially in business relationships. When a customer’s trust is lost, the word spreads like wildfire.
Building trust starts and ends with you. From before you ever set foot in the dealership. Remember, first impressions make a difference. Be sure to look and present yourself professionally every day. Your personal image impacts the customer’s perception of the dealership and product. Greet a customer with a positive attitude. Bringing optimism and professionalism to every exchange makes customers feel comfortable working with you. Do you remember the last time you made a large purchase? What was the salesperson’s attitude? Did you trust them based on your first impression? Why? Is there something they did that you can replicate?
First impressions must be supported with exceptional service. Remember, a salesperson’s job is to help customers find the vehicle that meets their unique needs, wants, and desires. Listen. Focus on their needs, not on selling. Treat your customer exactly the way you’d want to be treated, and do it consistently.
Listen and invest the time and attention required to understand your customers’ needs, wants, and desires in a vehicle. Get to know their world. Asking questions that show a sincere interest in their day-to-day life builds trust. Find out why they want a new vehicle, how they plan to use it, who will drive it, who will be a passenger, and where they will go. What features are important to them – safety, economy, environment, etc. Understanding builds trust and gives customers confidence in their decision to work with you.
Communicate consistently before, during, and after the sale. Treat every customer fairly and reliably, whether they buy now, today, next week, or next year. Customers shouldn’t have to transact business to receive exceptional service. When you provide information a customer asked for, you build trust. When you follow up after a visit, a sale, a service appointment, or for no obvious reason, you build trust. Each time you help out if there is a problem, you build trust.
Be honest – always. A lack of integrity is the number one way to lose a customer’s trust and business permanently. Dishonesty is never forgiven and trust is lost forever.
Completing the Trust Triple Play – while a never-ending process, is achievable. It demands your commitment to a professional image, consistent, exceptional service, and to your own, ongoing education. The rewards from building this level of trust with customers can be exceptionally profitable.