How many times have you visited a store or dealership and liked the salesperson, believed in what they said, but when it came time to sign, you just did not trust them enough?

What happened?  Or better yet…. has that happened to you when you were selling something?

The prospect likes you, they believe you — they just do not trust you!  Remember, selling requires the entire package. You must keep good but not overbearing eye contact; you must not let your eyes wander to a picture, a person or an item in the office or building.

I want to share a quick story. One of my closest friends, who sells engine parts, went to visit a prospect he had been working with for almost two years. The man had worked his way into the general manager’s office.

This was the person who could say “yes” to my friend.

The only problem was this GM had an 8×10 photo of a girl in a swimsuit right on his desk. My friend lost eye contact and glanced at this picture. Then he proceeded on with the sales call, and it came time to close. The GM declined, and when asked why, he told my friend, “I noticed that you liked the picture of my daughter in her college swimsuit.” The GM did not trust my friend and therefore, would not buy from him.

The trust factor is the pillar that has a no-return policy. You lose this and you will never get another chance. Never lie to the prospect— they can get online and within minutes either validate you or scorn you. I have had crews in a home that did an outstanding job, and by the time they were packing up, they had a Twitter post going out about them. This goes both ways, as I have had crews get condemned on Twitter even as they were cleaning!

You gain trust by doing the small things great and the big things even greater. You gain trust by knowing your product and offering solutions to your prospect’s issues. You gain trust by understanding where your prospect desires to go and being a true partner in getting them there. You gain trust by being an advocate for the prospect and allowing him or her to take the credit.

Your job is not to sell the prospect what you are selling; your job is to sell yourself and have the prospect trust you. When the prospect trusts you, they will trust your product and your company.

Just remember, if you do not like yourself or your state of mind, if you do not believe in your company, the product or yourself, then you do not trust yourself to sell to anyone.

Brett Bemis has more than 20 years of outside sales experience and is currently the general sales manager for Stanley Steemer in St. Louis. He supervises and conducts sales training for the St. Louis, Mid Missouri, Lake Ozark, MO, and Key West, FL Stanley Steemer locations, as well as manages the restoration and insurance relationships in these locales. Bemis can be reached at