Building Trust & Connection through Stakeholder-Centered Sales with Marcus Sheridan – Virtual Gathering Recap

On October 19, 2022, acclaimed speaker, entrepreneur, and web marketing guru Marcus Sheridan, who’s been recognized by Forbes as one of “20 Speakers You Don’t Want to Miss,” joined our community to shed light on the importance of evolving your sales strategies to focus on trust and transparency in today’s marketplace.

Here are our three takeaways from his informative and thought-provoking presentation.

Buyers and prospects are vetting companies more than they ever have before

With the rise of social media and the internet, prospective buyers have increasingly more access to brands and important information about them, including their mission, values, and company practices.

With that reality, companies “have got to accept that our buyers are more informed than they’ve ever been and they’re vetting us more than they’ve ever done,” according to Marcus.

To react accordingly, it’s important that companies are as transparent and forthcoming as possible, including on their websites and their other digital platforms. Having readily available information can be the difference between closing a sale and losing a potential customer.

Even with automation on the rise, human relationships are still an important part of sales

Marcus shared that in a recent study 33% of buyers said they would prefer to have a seller-free sales experience, with the percentage being at least 44% for Millennial shoppers. That study also concluded that those percentages would only continue to rise as time goes on.

Still, Marcus projects that human interaction and connection will remain vital aspects, to some degree, of sales and marketing:

“[It] doesn’t mean that human relationships aren’t fundamental to sales processes and trust … but what it does mean is that we’ve got to recognize that if we don’t give them what they want on the front end, we’re not responding to the marketplace.”

Can you become the most trusted voice in your space and ignore the fundamental questions your customers have? We can’t do that, can we? They’re just diametrically opposed.

In order to continue to funnel prospective buyers to the people involved in selling and marketing to your stakeholders, it’s important to begin with a transparent digital presence.

Transparency leads to trust with your stakeholders, which ultimately impacts your bottom line

Marcus honed in on one of the three starting points he believes companies must address to build trust through their marketing and sales practices, starting with their digital platforms: “Be willing to talk about what others in your space are not willing to talk about online.”

He continued: “Has there ever been a question, a worry, a fear that you get all the time from your customers, prospects, that your sales team has heard a bunch of times? … Can you become the most trusted voice in your space and ignore the fundamental questions your customers have? We can’t do that, can we? They’re just diametrically opposed.”

Marcus encourages sales and marketing teams to begin to address the five areas that customers are the most interested in when making buying decisions, which are also areas he’s noticed that companies are the least likely to address online. Those five areas are: upfront information on cost, potential shortcomings of your product, comparison to other products, reviews and testimonials, and why your product is the best option.

When potential buyers don’t have access to this information, it becomes a missed opportunity for companies to build transparency and openness and, for Marcus, “The moment [buyers] feel like anybody is hiding anything from [them] online, trust is gone.”

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