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9 pillars trust-based sellingIf you’re struggling to close sales, this is my New Year’s gift to you. Below is a list of nine ways you can specifically build TRUST to close more sales. My suggestion would be to take one at a time and work on incorporating it into your sales and marketing processes.

But first, a quick refresher on salesmanship. When selling “IT services,” get it in your head that what you’re REALLY selling is trust. Not contracts. Not bundles. Not features. Not monitoring 24/7/365. TRUST. Clients largely have no idea what should or shouldn’t be included in a managed services agreement, and cannot tell if you’re good, bad, or somewhere in between (welcome to the world of selling intangibles). Therefore, sales are largely based on who the prospect feels they like and who they can TRUST to do the job well.

So, you have to start with the understanding that the decision to hire you (or not hire you) is largely based on how a prospect FEELS about you. This is a really tough concept for many to embrace. If a prospect trusts you, they are going to be more compliant with your recommendations and a lot less sensitive to price. To that end, here are nine ways you can build TRUST to improve your close rate while maintaining or increasing margins.

How to build trust

Authenticity: Are you someone I can actually trust to tell me the truth? Are you legitimate? Can I believe you? Specifically, prospects aren’t looking for slick or polished; they’re looking to see if you’re the real deal.

Passion and Enthusiasm: Are you SOLD? Are you genuinely passionate, inspired, and excited about what you do, AND are you doing it for them? Prospects can smell uncertainty, timidity, and hesitation like a dog smells fear.

Competence: Can you actually do what you say you’re going to do? WHAT EVIDENCE CAN YOU PROVIDE TO DEMONSTRATE YOUR COMPETENCE? Can I depend on you to actually deliver? Have you perfected/mastered the process or are you just winging it? (False assumption is that the longer you’ve been doing something, the more competent you are.)

Is This for Me? How appropriate is this for me? Is it suitable for me, my company, my specific situation, my clients, my way of doing things, etc. (NOTE: Everyone believes their situation is “different.”) What are you showing prospects (or telling them, demonstrating) so they feel like you are the appropriate choice for their situation, needs, size, budget, etc.?

Caring: Do you genuinely care about your customers? Are you listening and attempting to do what’s right for me or just selling?

Safety: Are you the safest option? Are you risky? Will I look stupid for choosing you? Will I feel “had” again? This is where a solid money-back guarantee can help tremendously, as well as references and testimonials.

Do I Understand the Basic Premise? A confused prospect never buys. They don’t need to know all the technical details, but they need to know enough to feel comfortable. Stop burying your prospects in technical jargon. Talk to them like a CEO.

Best Deal: This is NOT about getting the cheapest price; prospects need to know if they are making the best comparative choice. You do not have to be the cheapest; but if you ARE more expensive than other providers you’re routinely competing against, you need to give specific reasons why that are meaningful to the prospect, not just “We’re better” or “We’ll do what we say we will.”

Celebrity: Are you a “household” name? Celebrity sells, which is why companies pay millions of dollars to attach their brand to a celebrity. If you can’t hire one, BE one. Authoring books, public speaking, being quoted in the news are ALL ways to build celebrity.

Photo: Chris Brignola via

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Robin Robins

Posted by Robin Robins

There is no doubt about it: Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services businesses to double – even triple – sales, profits and MRR growth than any other marketing consultant in the IT services industry, period. As a trusted advisor to over 9,000 IT services business owners for over 18 years, Robin knows a thing or two about what it takes to grow sales, recurring revenue streams and a profitable client base for an IT services business. To discover how you can double your MSP leads, appointments and sales without spending a dime on marketing, go to

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