Generating trust with the customer and user is a difficult activity, and more so when what you are selling isn’t something that can be quantified. In conversation with another strengths coach, where we were debating the pros and cons of the first meeting with prospects, I realised first hand that there are two types of trust in every sales situation- a one-time trust and an enduring trust.
On a sales pitch to a prospect, here is what goes down:
Option One: You have a clear conversation with the coachee and their sponsor to understand their expectations from the coaching engagement. You set expectations right then and there for the same. If something doesn’t fall under the purview of the engagement or the methodology, then so be it. You also make it a point to highlight what is a part of the methodology and what changes that will bring. Transparency starts from there.
Option Two: You have separate conversations with the coachee and the sponsor. Hear them out separately. Draw up a win- win objective for both and then communicate it separately to both. The idea is to avoid any unnecessary drama that’s to be expected with disagreements between sponsor and coachee on the coaching objectives. In this option, you also have a unique opportunity to pitch your services to each party based on what they expect out of the engagement. Things that both parties vehemently disagree about can be left in the grey.
The first option is you building trust as a coach, based solely on your expertise of the subject matter and the coaching methodology.
The second option is you practicing your selling skills, based on your experience of what a prospect wants to hear rather than what’s the true offering of the process.
In their own way, for a one time engagement, both options could yield success. But in the face of repeat engagements that enhance the customer’s lifetime value, the second option falls short.
What yields repeat business?
- Delivery on promise: Consistency in what you’ve promised and what gets delivered is the first condition for repeat business. Trust plays a key role in getting you repeat engagement.
- Consistency across channels: A positive Omni channel experience earns you repeat business. Right from the sales person to the coach to the meeting co-ordinator, if the sponsor and coachee get the same experience, it makes for assured trust tokens for future business.
- Customer Delight: This doesn’t only translate to going the extra mile and throwing in an extra session, but rather what valuable information are you giving away for free. For example, all the content marketing that you do on strengths and your coaching methodology giving them insights into successes and case studies helps build trust in your methods.
Last but not the least; small talk wins you big budgets! Being skilled in the art of conversation, beyond your service offerings makes you an interesting person to talk to. There’s a takeaway from every conversation.
Ace these and you are well on the road to generating repeat business.