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Trust-Based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships Hardcover – December 8, 2005
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Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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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.
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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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
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. (4) A habit of being transparent in all dealings with the customer. Each of these principles is described in full, a list of what supports or encourages keeping those principles is given and then a discussion of what destroys the principles is also provided. The insight for the reader (especially those familiar with the usual sales training courses) is how much we are told we must do in sales actually destroys trust with our clients.
Green provides us with a memory prodder in the form of an equation: T = (C+R+I)/(S) where T is trust, C is credibility, R is reliability, I is intimacy and S is self-orientation. Credibility is about the words we speak and the domain knowledge we bring to bear. Reliability has to do with our actions and delivering what we promise to the customer/client. Intimacy refers to the safety or security that we feel when entrusting someone with information or feelings. Self-orientation is the perception of whether or not the person in question is only interested in furthering his or her own goals or is more focused on helping others achieve their goals. Each of these parameters are explored in depth.
Green then moves on to describe the "Trust Creation Process": Engage-Listen-Frame-Envision-Action. Engage is a focus on understanding what the customer values and being prepared to discuss them. Listen at a higher level to themes and issues that are important and real to the customer. Frame the root issue, problem statement or opportunity statement in terms that both you and the customer agree to. Envision, with your customer, an alternate end-state (how things will look when resolved). And Action is a mutually agreed upon set of executable steps for both you and your customer to move toward the vision. Again, Green goes into detailed explanation of each of these process steps making it clear how important it is to maintain the customer focus throughout the trust creation process.
There are many lists throughout the book and I found myself going back to review them as Green built on the concepts he presented. I was very pleased to find that the Appendix has a complete compilation of the lists in the order they were introduced. This will be an excellent reference as the reader implements and integrates the principles in this book in all his or her relationships - not just sales!
This book is a must read for not only the sales professional but for any executive who deals with people and has to sell ideas, budgets or plans - so that's just about everyone! For the sales executives and managers, you will need to run interference in your own organization so that your sales team can focus on more mid-term and long-term relationships. The day of stretching the rules and compensation geared toward short-term quarterly goals must go the way of the dinosaurs. Your organization would do well to: adopt the four fundamental principles of Trust-Based Selling; move from being seller-focused to being client-focused; collaborate rather than compete with your customers; care about customers for their sakes - thereby increasing your sales and customer retention rates; and develop the perspective that "the relationship is the customer." Get it, read it and put it into practice.
Charles Green's book helps clarify the concept of trust and the importance of becoming truely customer focused as well as the need to understand just how 'self-orientated' most organisations are. This one simple concept, self-orientation, and it's role in limiting trust, is clearly explained and demonstrated. Perhaps it is the prime reason your company is struggling to realise the full potential of customer intimacy!
Good read, well worth the time - but get senior leaders to read it as well.