Building Trust with your Sellers - Don't Apologize!

Mar 14, 2022

When you reach out to a new seller to help them plan their customer briefing you often have a short time to win their trust. They’re probably rushing between meetings and want to get the planning process started and leave it with you. Or they’ve got it all figured out and just want you to run interference! Either way, you’ll want to be sure they perceive you immediately as a full business partner they can confidently rely on to guide them through the process.

I’ve noticed that Briefing Managers sometimes unintentionally reinforce the perception of being “just” in a supporting or tactical role. Here are some tips to help you build trust quickly and create more value.
Business people shaking hands after a meetingBusiness people shaking hands after a meeting
  • ​​​​​​​Be more intentional about how you introduce yourself on that first call with a seller. Saying “I’ll be your briefing consultant” means a lot to you and me, but maybe not to them! In those first few moments of the call, explicitly detail a few examples of the value you’ll be bringing to the table. “I’ll be working with you to curate an agenda that aligns with your customer’s objectives.” “I have insights into which Discussion Leaders will be the best fit for your customer.” 
  • Never start by talking logistics! They need to see you immediately as a full peer in the process, adding value to your consultative role. Start the conversation with strategic questions about their sales objectives and their customer’s objectives for the briefing.
  • Act as an equal. Too often we find ourselves apologizing for everything. “I’m so sorry that date is not available.” “I’m so sorry that Discussion Leader isn’t available.” Drop the “I’m so sorry”. It’s not your fault if they’ve waited until the last minute to try to book something. When we constantly apologize, our credibility tanks and we drop a step lower in their view. 
Start to notice how often you find yourself apologizing. Listen empathetically. Speak frankly and directly. Be open to their ideas.  Concentrate on resolving the problem. And find a way to get to yes... unapologetically.