7 years ago
February 21, 2017

7 Ways to Demonstrate Expertise and Build Trust with Sales Prospects

Improve your relationships with prospects using the following seven methods to demonstrate expertise and build trust with sales prospects.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

In order to close a sale a sales person must first build trust with the sales prospect. There is no one right way to build trust, which leaves many sales people struggling without a clear direction. Learn how to improve your relationships with prospects using the following seven methods to demonstrate expertise and build trust with sales prospects.

1. Earn Professional Certifications

Sales prospects like to receive information in easy-to-assimilate packages. One way to immediately demonstrate expertise and build trust with sales prospects is through easily recognized professional certifications. If you include these designations in your e-mail signature and on business cards you can develop authority and demonstrate expertise from the beginning of the sales cycle.

2. Add Client Recommendations to Your Social Media

Sales prospects are searching your name on the internet to find out more about you, and what they find should demonstrate expertise and help the sales prospect build trust in what you have to offer. Make sure that this is the case by including recommendations and referrals from clients on your social media pages, especially on LinkedIn. You might also consider including links on your social media pages to other pages that contain trustworthy content that shows your experience, such as your organization’s website.

3. Share Your Expertise Outside of the Sales Cycle

Exposure through reputable outlets is one of the best ways to demonstrate expertise and build trust with sales prospects. When sales prospects see you sharing your expertise outside of your perceived sales responsibilities and interacting with other professionals it sends the message that you know your business inside and out. Build your exposure to demonstrate expertise by:

  • Volunteering to speak at conferences and local professional events.
  • Publishing articles in newspapers and industry trade papers likely to reach your sales prospects.
  • Joining local trade associations and business bureaus as an individual.

4. Develop Your Own Client Case Studies

Case studies are a convincing way to demonstrate expertise and to build trust with sales prospects because sales prospects can relate to a well-written case study that outlines the problems and issues past clients have faced. Enlist the assistance of your marketing department to create targeted case studies based on your past clients’ experiences so that you have personalized collateral to share with your sales prospects to demonstrate your expertise in solving client concerns.

5. Collaborate with Other Experts and Professionals

Sales people may avoid some methods of building trust through showing expertise due to the amount of work or timelines involved, and a perfect example of this is found in authoring books. However, think of how influential the top sales book titles have been for you, and how many of these have likely crossed your sales prospects’ reading lists. If writing a book seems too challenging, recognize that many sales books are co-authored. Leverage professional organizations and author’s groups to find a project to which you might contribute without having to author an entire book on your own.

6. Start a Personal Blog or Website

A professional looking website is a prerequisite to build trust with nearly any audience. Although many sales people can – and do – rely on their organizations’ websites to do the heavy lifting, having a website of your own through which you can demonstrate expertise and share your knowledge with the world will increase your ability to build trust. As an added benefit, when done right a personal website will increase the number of inbound leads you receive.

7. Remember Expertise Means More than Knowledge

Avoid trying to convince your sales prospects of your expertise through bombarding them with your industry knowledge. Expertise is more than knowledge; it is knowledge, trust, ability, and performance in one. Guide your sales prospects to concluding that you are the expert rather than selling them on it. This approach is highly effective to build trust with sales prospects and tie in your activities for demonstrating expertise.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.