The secret to being a successful salesperson – building trust

Salespeople have got a lot going on… There are targets to meet, relationships to nurture, deals to close, and internal politics to contend with. And that’s before we even mention the constant pressure to improve our skills in communication, technology, and productivity.


What if – to be a successful salesperson – you just needed to focus on one challenge? How much simpler would our days be then? Imagine how effective, confident and calm we’d be if we centred all our activity around one clear overall goal.


Sound good? has published an article based on this premise. It claims that salespeople should, above all else, focus on nurturing healthy relationships based on authenticity and trust. Make Trust your prize and sales will follow. Simple. According to the article, here’s how:

  1. Develop a profound understanding of your product or service. You need to have a firm grip on all its features and benefits to be able to position it as an effective solution for customers’ needs and wants.
  2. Use empathy – not your target-driven sales agenda – to make an authentic connection with your customers and prospects. Make it your mission to understand their motivations, needs, pain points, buying behaviours, wants, and interests.
  3. Listen rather than talk. What’s the sub-text to what the person is saying? What hints and clues can you pick up on about what really matters to them? This is about deep-diving the considerations covered in the above point on a customer-by-customer basis.
  4. Respond to both what you do and don’t hear. Probe and prod what the person’s needs and wants are as opposed to simply pushing forwards with what you wanted to say. Ask leading questions like, ‘What do you need to make your life easier/save you time?’ and ‘What do you wish was different about the process/result?’ Remember that this interaction is all about the customer and not your sales agenda!
  5. Remember that ‘yes’ is nuanced. It’s not all about sealing the deal. It takes an average of eight interactions to make a sale. So make your conversations and touchpoints about positive engagement and generating future opportunities to connect.


In short, to be a successful salesperson, you need to make your goal not to sign a new customer or reach a specific sales target but to build an authentic, genuine relationship based on trust. It’s only by putting in the groundwork – using the tips above – that your prospects and customers will want to engage with you and, ultimately, when the time is right, buy your service or product.


We hope you find the above tips helpful. If you’re looking for your first break in Sales, your next move up the corporate ladder, or just wish to get a feel for the job market, please get in touch. With over 30 years of experience in the industry and longstanding relationships with a vast network of companies worldwide, we’ve got all the answers. Please contact us at or on 020 7092 3911 today!