Every prospect you meet has one thing in common: they are scared of you. Not quaking-in-their-shoes scared but frightened nonetheless. After all, if they buy your solution and it fails, it is going to reflect very badly on them. They are going to have to explain it to their supervisor. And they are going to have to deal with the ramifications in future budgets. That’s a lot of anxiety in every sales interaction – and there’s a simple way to alleviate it. When they ask you something and you don’t know the answer, say so – and then go find the answer. Yes, it’s simple. And it’s hardly ground-breaking. But by admitting you don’t know, you lay the foundation for a strong professional relationship.

Building Trust

So much of the buying experience is incremental. You click to learn more. You download. You read a white paper. You request a demo. You have a Zoom. Yet each step moves you closer to buying – as long as trust is forged. Of course, trust can be lost at any point along the path. If you click and are taken to an error page, you likely start wondering what else that vendor can’t keep track of. If you download and the content never arrives, you lose trust. If you schedule a demo and the sales rep doesn’t show, you certainly lose trust. And on and on.

But even when all of those steps are handled perfectly, a client can still have a question that trips you up. Newbies may hedge. They may try to talk around it. But successful sales reps will own it. They’ll look you right in the eye – or state right in the email – that they don’t know. And then they’ll go find out.

It’s so obvious but it instantly relaxes your prospect. You’ve admitted you don’t know something. You could have lied or bluffed or redirected – but you didn’t. You stood your ground and owned it. If you are honest about what you don’t know, your prospect figures, you are likely to be honest about everything else, too.

Stronger Solutions

You would think trust would be enough of a win here but admitting you don’t know leads to something even better. It builds better results. Because the minute you reach out for help, you create a stronger solution. From a sales perspective, this means you have not only increased your prospect’s trust but you are now going to deliver a result that specifically addresses a point critical to them.

That’s the kind of sales relationship you want to build.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash