Listen to Your Gut Regarding Trustworthiness

Michele Warg
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How can you tell if the people in front of you are trustworthy? As a professional sales rep, your gut instincts must be spot on when it comes to figuring out if potential customers are sincere about their intentions toward your team. It also works the other way around; your team must build trust toward the prospective clients. Build a trustworthy team by watching out for these traits.

Keep an eye out for both subtle and obvious clues in verbal and nonverbal behavior. When you assess this behavior, your gut check improves with time. The idea is that once you perfect your gut-based trust detectors, your success level as a sales rep gets better as you become more experienced. Put your customer hat on when you do this, and ask yourself if this is how you want to be treated when you know you're in the middle of a sales pitch.

1. Interruptors

People who constantly interrupt others are rude, but this behavior also indicates that the people in front of you aren't interested in what you have to say. These people don't want to listen, and they've probably already made up their minds. Just like you should put on your listening cap when a qualified lead speaks to you, every sales rep on your team should listen to clients first, and speak when they finish.

2. Fast Talkers

Fast talkers have a lot to say; these people have a need to get their messages across rather than reaching the root of what the audience wants. Talking fast denotes a lack of confidence, nervousness and a lack of faith in the products backing up the sales team. Observe your sales team to determine how they interact with one another. Does any sales rep go into fast-talk mode when he gets adamant about something? Think about how you feel when you see this person's demeanor change — a potential customer probably won't like it, either.

3. Opinionated People

People with opinions may not have the facts to back up their statements. Every sales rep you work with should know the facts about the products or services presented during a sales pitch. Your customers should make informed decisions about something that is vital to their future. Clients don't want you to tell them what they want to hear. They need the full facts so they know precisely what to expect from a product or service. Customers are smart, and they fact-check sales teams. If you fib on something, the customer might eventually find out and never trust your team again.

4. Actors

Notice how a person acts with his body language. Genuine people make eye contact, lean forward and smile during sales presentations. Your sales team should pay attention to everyone in the room and engage with them using their bodies and not just their words. Ignoring an audience, looking to the side and a lack of smiles lead to a boring pitch and no sales.

Each sales rep should bring his A-game when trying to land a new sale or earn more contracts with an existing customer. Gut check your team to see if they have what it takes to build trust first and earn money second.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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