Editor’s Note: For Part 1 of Getting to Yes, see the March 2013 issue.
Believability is the second of four critical skills needed to help you get a “Yes” response from prospective customers. Think of believability as a bridge that helps customers go from liking you to trusting you. To be sure, your customers must like you to some degree before they give you a chance to show your credibility.
In order to be believable, you must first believe in yourself. And here I’m not talking about just knowing you can do a good job! I mean you must be completely sure that your services provide at least 10 times the value of your fee. If you don’t wholeheartedly believe this, how can you expect your customers to believe you?
People need to have confidence that you are a person of your word and that you will provide great value. Like it or not, people are judging all the time – every day and especially at that initial meeting. Here are four things that will enable you to immediately bridge that gap between likability and trust.
1. BE ON TIME
Sounds a little silly, right? But if you can’t keep the little promises, why should customers believe you’ll keep the big ones? Look at Domino’s and Fed Ex; they built their businesses around punctuality.
People who are always on time are dependable people who keep their word. Don’t forget that your prospective customers are always looking for clues that speak to your character. The cold hard truth is this: If you’re continually late, you’re not trustworthy.
2. SHARE MORE INFORMATION
Remember Forest Gump’s famous line “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”? That may be true in life, but if people are paying good money for your services, you can bet they want to know what they’re going to get.
Don’t just explain your process; overexplain it, and not just how you do it but why you do it as well. Your customers will probably never use this information, but your knowledge makes you more believable and puts them at ease.
3. BE SPECIFIC
Running a business isn’t an exact science. It’s far from it. But any opportunity you have to quote an exact figure or to give an exact start and finish date is powerful. It sets you apart from the competition and shows people you know your business and take it seriously.
I have a niche business. I can predict within 30 minutes how long most jobs will take to complete. Therefore, I’m able to give exact prices about 95 percent of the time. People love it when I tell them my price is firm, not an estimate that might increase after the job is completed.
“Any opportunity you have to quote an exact figure or to give an exact start and finish date is powerful.”
I realize you can’t do that with big jobs. But if you know how long it takes to paint a bedroom or stain a deck, why not give an exact price? Position yourself as an expert, because people believe, trust and prefer experts.
4. BE CONFIDENT
Would you rather be around someone who is poised and assured or someone who lacks confidence? One thing all great leaders have in common is a high level of self-confidence. As I mentioned before, if you want people to believe in you, you must first believe in yourself.
Project the image of unshakable confidence each time you make a sales call. Believe in your heart that your services provide great value for the money. In the beginning, you may sometimes have to act the part. I prefer to call it practicing the future. I did this in the beginning. Make big promises and outrageous guarantees, and be ready to stand behind your guarantees when the time comes. It will force you to step up, raise the bar and create momentum. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Finally, remember to be warm and genuine. But most important, don’t pretend. Your customers will readily sense pretentious or fake behavior. People need to buy YOU before they’ll believe you and buy your offering. If you truly care about your customers, show it in your genuine care and concern for them.
You see, creating believability isn’t one big act, it’s a combination of many small things done well and consistently over time. Be sure everything you do is based on helping your prospects understand that their needs come first. Customers need to believe and feel you have their best interest at heart. Only then will they believe in you. APC
Terry Begue is the owner of Begue Painting, Inc., and author of the popular e-book The Wealthy House Painter’s Guide to Having It All. He’s been a successful housepainter and enjoys helping others start their own painting businesses too. Discover more at www.wealthyhousepainter.com.