When looking at the problems of the world, I usually find that it involves issues where the opposing sides neither trust nor respect each other. Similarly in business circumstances, were I to analyze why some customer relationships are good and long term while others are difficult, transactional – or not really relationships at all – I’d argue that the differences are attributable to trust and respect – or the lack thereof.
Consider the following:
As the seller, why should a buyer trust or respect you?
- You are as good as your word.
- You have a good reputation.
- You can stand in your buyers’ shoes, caring about them as people.
- You offer value.
- You have morals, ethics, and a sense of the law similar to that of your buyer.
- You don’t waste a buyer’s time with things that don’t address their needs.
- You are consistent in your behavior from month to month, from year to year.
- You share knowledge with your buyers, even if there’s no immediate benefit to yourself.
- You listen to them.
- You are committed to excellence.
- It’s clear that your interests and that of your buyers are aligned.
Conversely, as a seller why should a buyer not trust or respect you?
- You don’t stand by your word.
- You either have no reputation or one that is poor.
- You have no idea what your buyer’s challenges are.
- You don’t know if you are offering value to the them.
- You cut corners to suit your circumstances rather than those of your buyer.
- You ignore what your buyer says.
- You do as little as possible for the greatest return.
- Your actions show that your interests and the buyers are not the same.
As a buyer, why should you trust or respect a seller?
- They have a long track record of good performance.
- They have a good reputation.
- They ‘know’ you and it’s evident in how they interact with you.
- You feel like you get a good deal.
- You feel like the seller considers what’s in your best interests.
As a salesperson, presuming you have an offer that buyers should want, their reluctance may not necessarily be attributable to an absence of trust or respect. But the absence of those attributes exposes your offer to a lot of other variables that can interfere with closing a deal. Trust and respect help address the uncertainties that are inherent in any relationship. I have customers who come back to me time after time, confident in both me and the products that I represent.
How you conduct your business is up to you, but if you take the high road – which reflects a grounded long term perspective geared to building relationships – you are more likely to be successful.