Distrust is an invisible barrier to the sale that often seems to defy logic. In this way, out customers are like first-time bungee jumpers.
They want the experience that can only come from making the leap;
They’ve been through briefing, passed the safety checks, and everything is secure and ready;
They’ve shuffled to the edge, and readied themselves to take the final commitment – which is less a big leap and more a tiny hop…
…And they freeze.
What they’re doing is OK, logically. They know the risks are minuscule. And they’re ready and prepared to go.
But it goes against our evolutionary hard-wiring.
A survival instinct kicks in.
A part of our brain that pre-dates language starts screaming: “Something is wrong! Very wrong!”
Any sale is a leap of faith.
By trusting someone we open ourselves up to the risk of loss – from making the wrong decision ourselves, or by relying on others to deliver something.
It means the decision to buy (or not buy) runs deeper than logical, or financial considerations.
In other words, trust is more valuable than time, money or effort.
It runs deep in our psyche – and is almost as valuable to us as life itself.
Trust Is Worth More Than Money
In my own industry (marketing strategy), many of my clients have received dozens of approaches per week from “marketing gurus” who promise the world – but deliver mixed results. Most of these business owners have been let down by advisors, strategists and consultants before.
So in my industry, the barrier to making sales typically isn’t logical concerns around money. People are willing to invest if they can see the promise of a return – and will often find ways to bring money in if they can see the value and potential return.
The barrier to the sale is more often trust-driven!
“Having been let down by marketing experts and consultants before – how can I trust that you’ll be able to deliver the result?”
This is true in many service industries – as competing service companies tend to end up serving their customers in similar ways, for similar prices.
Another example is the real estate industry – when agents are seeking listings from owners looking to sell their property.
Most agents sell on a “no-sale-no-fee” arrangement, where there is no upfront cost to list. And typically, the commission structure of any agency is similar to other competing agencies in an area – so there is no strong price differential.
And the process of listing and selling a property is similar – no matter which agent does the job.
So it’s hard for homeowners to differentiate on price, terms, or service.
For a real estate agent competing for listings, the key differentiator that decides whether he or she will get the listing is trust.
“Do I trust this real estate agent to look after my best interests?”
If there’s one insight that you should take from this – it’s that we don’t purchase on fact and logic. Instead, we decide on emotion, and social consequence.
And often the decision isn’t “Should I buy?” or “Is this worth the money?”
More often than not, the decision is “Am I able to trust the outcome?”