To gain trust, tell them what they need to hear…, not what they want to hear…

To gain trust, tell them what they need to hear…, not what they want to hear…

Over the past weeks, I had several conversations about what builds trust in Sales and what kills it?
One aspect that deserves a spotlight is our posture in the sales cycle. How does our potential customer see us?

During one of our sales kick-off events, a former colleague shared this “Customers don’t see me as a sales, but as an advisor.”

I like to think about becoming ‘the guide’ (and staying far away from being the hero).
The moment we start thinking about it this way, something changes in our role.
Our focus shifts towards the customer
We are actively helping them avoid pitfalls.
We’re leading them towards a better future.
And this is about telling them what they NEED to hear, not what they want to hear.

For many, that’s a tough call.
What if they get upset?
What if they disagree?

Throughout my career, though, I’ve never seen this work against me.
On the contrary – it’s seen and rewarded.
It builds that bond – that trust that we talked about earlier – and suddenly, people start seeing you as an ally.
Yes, sure, some feel offended – can’t handle it – and bailout.
But that’s again (in most cases so far for me) a good thing.

There are two fantastic moments in sales: The moment a customer shifts to buying from you, and the moment they qualify out – fast. And I deliberately stress the word ‘fast’ – that’s the only good thing about qualifying out – when it happens as early as possible in the sale cycle.

The question is: How do you go about it?
To me, it boils down to three things:

👉 Realizing you can’t please everyone
👉 Having a crystal clear perspective about what keeps your ideal customers up at night or what could get them fired.
👉 Understanding your role is to help your customers make a meaningful difference.

I refer to this as your value foundation. Having this in place changes the game. It provides the required focus, guidance, and alignment – and that accelerates everything.

So question to reflect upon: in the upcoming sales calls your Saas Sales team has planned – how will you set them up to become the trusted guide?