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People buy from people they know and trust. Do your customers trust you, your products, and your services?


Gallup’s recent annual Governance poll revealed that Americans’ distrust for mass media (at 43 percent) continues its four-year decline and it at the lowest levels for the last four decades.

Possibly this may help to explain why printed newspapers, commercial television, cable and radio stations are facing a continued challenge to increase sales.

Another interesting fact within this poll is a subgroup of college-educated individuals with incomes in excess of $75,000 who face the greatest trust decline of any groups.

This is a trend that you should monitor along with how much time (now 13 minutes) people spend online securing news. In 2000, this behavior was according to Gallup “nil.”

Do Your Customers Trust You, Your Products, and Your Services?

What does this mean for small business owners and crazy busy salespeople?

If your potential customers or prospects are distrustful of you or your products and services, this may cause them to rethink their decision-making process to find alternatives.

If those alternatives meet their wants, then this reflective process probably will not increase sales for you.

People Buy From People They Know…

People buy from people they know and trust.

Today, that sales statement may need to be revised to “people buy from people they know, trust, and who provide value” if the goal to increase sales is to be achieved.

This may make relationship selling or consultative selling a little more difficult because each individual determines value.

To overcome what appears to be an ever-growing distrust factor trend may require an integrated solution through these actions:

  • Review your strategic plan
  • Revisit your values statement (business ethics)
  • Describe the behaviors as demonstrated by your values statement
  • Update your target market research including both demographics and psychographics
  • Research your specific ideal customer profile
  • Reconnect with current customers and past ones to listen for any possible trends of buyer’s distrust or buyer’s remorse
  • Make necessary course corrections as you receive new information relevant to your overall business and sales goals

As part of that review process, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Who do you know?
  2. Who knows you?
  3. Why would someone want to know you?

Relationship selling does work, whether you are selling newspapers, manufacturing, retail goods or sales training coaching services.

By demonstrating high business ethics through your positive core values statement, you can build trust, delineate the value of your products and services, and increase sales. 

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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