The Five C’s of Trust-Based Selling
Building a Relationship
In today’s environment, selling is about building a relationship. Springs Valley has always used the relationship based selling approach and has focused their sales trainings, etc. around this concept. In the past, the Bank participated in training by Jack Hubbard, the creator of “The Five C’s of Trust-Based Selling.” Jack Hubbard is the Chairman & Chief Sales Officer at St. Meyer & Hubbard, a sales training and coaching firm based out of Elgin, IL. (Telephone: 847.717.4328; email: firstname.lastname@example.org) Below is his article on The Five C’s, written for the banker, however we feel it can be crossed over into any other sales market.
The Five C's by Jack Hubbard
I’ve had the privilege of doing a significant amount of sales training and coaching over the past four decades, I have come to the conclusion that the best of breed separate themselves from the pack by acting on five key concepts. These five concepts together build trust and loyalty, maximize the customer experience and optimize bottom-line results.
1. Conversations, the ultimate differentiator
Recent data indicates 10 to 12 touches are needed (phone, e-mail) before a cold pre-client agrees to see a banker. Data also indicates that 54% of bankers stop touching after the first rejection. Given those statistics, how can sales professionals create differentiation?
It’s in the conversation.
Conversations that are well planned and targeted to the needs of the client tend to help move the process forward faster and in a trust-based manner. Banks that have analyzed why their bankers do not get in the door for a second call with pre-clients have found that their bankers are too eager to talk, and not as focused on listening. Here are some things successful commercial resource managers have done to optimize the conversation.
2. Curiosity, the sales cliffhanger
How does “Grey’s Anatomy,” “American Idol,” or any recurring series keep viewers hooked week after week? They always leave them wanting more. Premature product presentations have always been a challenge for sales associates. This happens for several reasons: 1) because the customer forces us into it; and, 2) bankers have goals and, if there is a “hot one” in front of us, we don’t want to let them get away. This conflict of results now, juxtaposed against banking’s stated desire to build trust-based partnerships, has caused consternation on each side of the desk.
Curiosity is controlled by the sales associate. The banker determines the high-impact questions to ask. There is a difference between building curiosity and manipulating the situation. It is critical for the salesperson to be transparent.
To build curiosity the banker can:
When the salesperson always leaves the call on a “wow” note, he or she will always have a better than average chance to get back in for call after the call, which may lead to a new relationship.
3. Customization, this is a one-to-one world
It isn’t possible to tailor every product for every situation. It is easy to understand, however, that every business owner buys cash management solutions, a loan or even a checking account for their own reasons. As the banker presents his or her solutions, therefore, feeding customized buying benefits into the life of the buyer creates more “yes” opportunities.
Gaining knowledge as to “why” they buy can occur in the first or second meeting if the sales person is adept at the curious. Issues about the reasons for the services they have or believe they need, what type of a banking relationship works for them and criteria for their buying decisions all factor into future presentations.
4. Collaboration, the ultimate in transparency
Some sales training I’ve seen talks about “going to war” and employing manipulative techniques to get the client or pre-client to buy. In trust-based selling, it’s not the banker versus the customer; it’s the banker and the customer versus the problem.
It is important for the salesperson to determine if there is a “fit” between the philosophy and the abilities of the bank and the mission and vision that the company has of what a banking relationship should be. When the banker shows he or she has nothing to hide, more collaboration occurs and less negotiation is needed.
5. Coaching, sustaining the culture
None of the first four C’s occurs without an ongoing commitment to reinforce the process. Great sales coaches understand they manage numbers and lead people. In his classic book, “Go Put Your Strengths to Work,” Marcus Buckingham suggests: “Our people aren’t our greatest asset. The strengths of our people are.”
There is a fallacy that working with sales associates on their deficits helps them improve and, therefore, they sell more. While that can certainly work over the long term, a great sales coach helps his or her people use their strengths now to pull the culture, their career and the client growth to the next level. Bank CEOs, executives and team leaders should ask themselves:
We're Celebrating 115 years of Local Community Banking all month!