“In a transparent society, integrity becomes the new currency – and it applies both to salespeople and their organizations”
The 24th November saw leading executives from around the world gather at Stockholm’s Avicii Arena for this year’s Sales Conference. And as always, there was one big theme. And this year that theme was ‘trust’. But how do we build trust? In the ‘Future State of Trust’ report we identified 6 key dimensions critical to the process – and one of those was…’Integrity’.
Trust. It’s complex. And nowhere more than in the world of sales. Yes, we have legal contracts that look to eliminate the ‘but we shook hands on it’ element of risk, but you still need to have faith in the person you’re dealing with. And a major component of this faith is who they are as a person. Do you genuinely believe that the salesperson across the table from you is authentic? Do they believe what they’re saying? Because if they don’t, then that’s a problem that no amount of marketing can solve. So let’s be direct – you can’t fake integrity. You can build trust in other ways, through reputation, previous track record, credit score etc., but you either have integrity or you don’t. However, while you can’t fake it (and shouldn’t), you can most certainly take steps to nurture it – and communicate that development to your customers.
“The sales reps of the future must be fans of their own products and services – and the organization of the future must identify values that lead the way, and strive to embed these values in the hearts and minds of everyone so they don’t just say it; they live it. Sales people who do not invest wholeheartedly and honestly but only want to sell will be ruthlessly exposed.”The Future State of Trust 2022 Report
So how do you build it?
Well, unlike many things in sales, it’s not as simple as KPIs – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t tangible steps that you can take. So here are a few suggestions from the report:
- Stand by authentic principles and values
- Provide truthful, unbiased, and reliable information
- Be open about the policy of your company
- Be natural, transparent and genuine in communication
- Ensure that customers understand the terms being offered
- Do not hide important information in the fine print
While integrity was always an important factor in how a company or brand is perceived, the social media revolution of the last few years has elevated it to a new priority. At no time in modern history have we operated in such a climate of misinformation and mistrust – so it’s now more important than ever that we project integrity and use it as a building block for long-term, meaningful client relationships.
This year, Mercuri Research presented their annual report based on a global survey of over 1,000 business leaders. It dissected what we actually mean by trust, breaking it down into its component dimensions and pointing out the real world impact of building trust from a business perspective. It offers guidance and suggestions as to how business leaders can find new opportunities, create better, longer lasting client relationships and find new ways to establish long term growth. The report looks at the topic of ‘trust’ as a whole and also examines dimensions such as ‘integrity’ in granular detail.
“Being authentic means that you act in ways that are genuine, true to yourself and your organization and the customer. It means that you have certain values and principles that you use as a North Star when developing strategies, products, marketing messages and not least, when you sell to customers.Henrik Larsson Broman
And with 99% of business leaders surveyed saying that “trust is critical to building long term relationships with clients”, how we get to that point is more important than ever. So, if you’d like to learn how to let your customers trust you – and build meaningful relationships with you – why not download the report or get in touch today?