What exactly does it mean to be transparent in business? In today’s day and age, where we can obtain the same information from multiple places delivered in completely different ways, transparency is linked to trustworthiness—a characteristic that means different things to different people.
In sales-based businesses, establishing trust with clients is, above all else, something to strive for. When you gain a client’s trust, it is far easier to gain their attention and even easier to sell to them. And one of the best ways to gain that trust? Transparency.
If you’re still confused by the difference between transparency and trust, think of transparency as a means to an end—a surefire way to gain the trust that you need in order to build a relationship with a client. Transparency doesn’t always equal trust, but 99 percent of the time it will. You might be thinking though, “How can I be transparent with a prospect without giving away too much or breaking my approach?”
The answer lies within working elements of transparency into the methods you’ve already established, which isn’t as hard as it sounds. There are plenty of salespeople who have built sales pitches around transparency—letting prospects know exactly what a product will and won’t do for them, without sacrificing the integrity of the business or compromising the sale.
No one likes to be lied to, and most people appreciate a certain level of candidness when it comes to being on the receiving end of a sales pitch. When your pitch is completely clear—no scare tactics, tricky words, or subtle phrasing—prospects don’t feel like they are being swindled into a sale, but rather, led to an obvious choice; a choice that they made on their own.
Transparency is beneficial in sales because it gives the prospect an opportunity to formulate their own opinion on the product. It doesn’t force them to feel one way or the other, nor does it back them into a corner and leave them feeling threatened. If you implement transparency into your sales strategy without focusing too much on the prospect’s immediate action, you’ll quickly find that people are more receptive to your pitch and, even if a no is inevitable, they are more likely to respond after careful thought rather than a defense-driven, gut response.
Starting out with a simple, “This is why I am reaching out to you, and why I think you want to hear from me,” can work wonders, as opposed to a hurried “Here is the product, and this is why it’s great.”
Trust is at the heart of any successful relationship, business and otherwise. As a method for obtaining a prospect’s trust, it’s hard to beat an upfront approach. The prospect will respect you for your candor, and you will have already gotten the hardest part of any sale out of the way.