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Trust-Based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships Hardcover – December 8, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Rarely are the words "sales" and "trust" used in the same sentence. Why? Buyers are often skeptical, fearing that sellers have only their own interests at heart, Most sellers honestly want to do right by their customers--yet still want and need to get the sale. Is it ever possible for buyer and seller to trust each other?

The answer, says bestselling business author Charles Green, is yes. In his previous bestseller The Trusted Advisor, Green and his co-authors explain how to increase dramatically the levels of trust in client relationships. In his new book Trust-Based Selling, Green zeros in on the single most criitical application of trust to customers--selling--when buyers decide whether or not to become a customer. Green shows how the sales process is a powerful opportunity to create trust. No matter what your business--law, advertising, software, banking, telecom--behaving in a trustworthy manner during the sales process creates customer trust, while at the same time enhancing the odds of getting the sale.

You'll begin by examining customer buying habits, the often-overlooked impact of trust-building on the selling process, and the tremendous profit impact of selling from trust. Green outlines the principles of Trust-based Selling®, showing how to create trust from first introductions to proposals to negotiations to closings--even while responding to the Six Toughest Sales Questions. He shows how to apply the Four Trust Principles and the Trust Creation Process to any traditional sales process model for dramatic results:

  • You and your sales force will become more mindful of customers' issues and situations, as well as their concerns, desires, and fears
  • Customers who trust you will become more open to your ideas, explore more options with you, and streamline decision-making
  • You'll achieve enhanced creativity, more buy-in, greater honesty, and fewer misunderstandings by fostering collaboration with customers
  • You will be able to focus on the relationship, not the transaction--which ultimately builds trust and then yields more transactions

Complete with real-life examples from a variety of businesses, Trust-Based Selling is the authoritative guide selling in a world that is interconnected and dependent on trust relationships.

Build customer relationships based on trust

and earn their business for life!

What buyers really want--even when they don't say so--is a seller they can trust. In this follow-up to his bestseller The Trusted Advisor, Charles Green points the way to a culture that values the relationship over the transaction, builds trust in the sales process, and focuses on doing the right thing for the customer. Trust-Based Selling shows how applying trust principles to customer selection, negotiations, proposing, presenting, pricing and closing leads not only to better business results for customers, but also to greater customer trust and far greater sales effectiveness and profitability. Green explains how to:

  • Adopt the four fundamental principles of Trust-based Selling
  • Move from being seller-focused to client-focused--and stay that way
  • Collaborate rather than compete with your customer
  • Convert hostile or suspicious customer questions into opportunities to increase trust
  • Care about customers for their sakes--thereby increasing your sales and customer retention rates
  • Develop the perspective that "the relationship is the customer"

"If you want to earn the trust of your customers, I suggest you read this book."--Jeffrey Gitomer, bestselling author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling

"At last, a sales book based on how sophisticated, intelligent people actually buy. An important contribution that challenges the effectiveness of much of current sales practice, and shows how to do it better."--David Maister, author of First Among Equals and Managing the Professional Services Firm

"Green has written a rarity--a practical book which talks about the critical role of trust in selling, and how to be honest and successful at the same time."--Ken Roller, Director, Strategic Relations, Intel Corporation

About the Author

Charles H. Green is president of Trusted Advisor Associates, specializing in helping Fortune 500 business improve their trust-based relationships and business development skills.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (December 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780071461948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071461948
  • ASIN: 0071461949
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dave Kinnear on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For years, I have believed that there was "something missing" in the sales programs to which I had been exposed. Despite all the words to the contrary, the many programs seemed manipulative with the focus on "getting the order." The many different incentive programs I've seen employed simply drove that point home. It was always in my sales team's best interest to "take the order off the buyer's desk." And even the more advanced relationship selling programs had that end goal as the reason for building the relationship. It was always about the seller's point of view even as they claimed to be customer oriented.

Green finally has given us the language to use that makes it clear how the various rungs on the sales competency ladder lead you to success: product-based to needs-based to relationship-based and finally to trust-based state of mind. The first three rungs on the sales ladder are seller oriented. The last rung is customer oriented. For other than commodity products and services, the old adage that "nothing happens without a sale" must be updated to add "and no significant sale will happen without trust."

Each chapter in this must read book begins with a "Chapter at a Glance" box that sets the reader up for what to expect and then Green fulfills that promise. The chapters are broken down into reasonable chunks of information that are easy to find when referring back to previous material. The writing is clear and the message compelling. There are many very useful diagrams, tables, and lists.

Green states that there are four principles that drive trust-based selling: (1) A focus on the customer for the customer's sake, not just the seller's sake. (2) A style of selling that is consistently collaborative. (3) A perspective centered on the medium to long term.
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Format: Hardcover
Charles Green has nailed the fundamental issue in sales today. As a 25 year veteran of the insurance industry, I can speak first hand to the challenge of overcoming the negative salesperson stereotype. The secret is to become "a radical truth teller" and to put the interests of buyers first. I especially liked the author's themes of collaboration and transparency. Sellers of intangible, experiential services will benefit greatly from Mr. Green's chapter on "Sell by Doing, Not by Telling."
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Imagine, a sales book that suggests asking elevator questions versus making an elevator speech. Ponder a book that highlights principles versus process. Consider a book that recommends selling by doing not telling. This does even scratch the surface of what Charles Green discusses in this soon-to-be classic, Trust-Based Selling.

As a performance consulting firm we are tenacious to read anything that will help us help our clients. There have been numerous books we have read and recommended. None approach the tenants in Trust-Based Selling. Mr. Green has captured what is means to have a true client focus. His approach is practical and honest. It addresses principles you live not techniques you turn on and off because you went through a sales training class.

If collaboration, selflessness and transparency with clients are values you live by or wish to do so, Trust-Based Selling will help take those standards to new levels.
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Format: Hardcover
As a salesman for many years I agree with everything that Mr. Green says. In fact I remember a particular sales call where I took my vice president to visit the vice president of a company with whom we were doing business. The customer had issued a requirement for a computer printer. I had brought one of our printers with us and given it to one of his teckies on the way to the meeting.

The customer asked, 'is this printer any good?'

'No, its a piece of s**t. But it's the cheapest piece of s**t that meats your specs.'

'It's really that bad?'

'Well,' I said, 'it prints OK after you get paper in it, but putting paper in it is difficult.'

The customer smiled a little. "Yeah, I used to have one, I could never get the paper in it.' Then he turned to my VP and said, 'That's why I like to do business with him, he doesn't lie to me.'

They changed their specs and down through the years I sold them an awful lot of printers.

I think that this story illustrates what Mr. Green is saying. Make a friend, a trusted friend out of a customer or prospect and you can expect to get returns far beyond what you might expect, but only if you are a trusted friend as well.
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This is one of those business books that addresses the obvious and contains a few useful spins on ideas. Few business books do more. A few thoughts in this book relate especially well (though unintentionally) to website-based interactions.
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At the heart of all those negative stereotypes about sellers is a fundamental lack of trust. Buyers simply don't trust sellers. At least not until an individual seller breaks through the stereotype and demonstrates trustworthiness.

When that happens, long-term relationships are formed and genuine collaborations can begin. The sellers who get to this level are the ones who are most successful in any industry.

Charlie Green has written a guidebook for how to make this happen. He explains why trust matters. He explains the four component parts of building trust (the trust quotient), and he offers concrete examples of each. The cause-and-effect relationship between seller actions and buyer reactions becomes crystal clear.

Reading this book will help any seller to avoid costly mistakes and to recognize potential gaps in trustworthy behaviors. Because trust is so critically important to every aspect of selling, this book is a true must-read for true sales professionals.DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected: for professional sellers
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