Use Full Disclosure to Establish Trust

Published on April 5, 2011 by Dr Cathy

I have no idea of the title of the black and white movie I saw as a kid. For some reason one of the premises of the movie, about a woman in real estate, stayed with me. She had decided to tell her prospects every negative thing about the houses she sold. She also pointed out the positive.

In the movie, she sold more houses because people trusted her. After a great deal of success she quit giving full disclosure and lost her status as top sales person. She hid the defects and people felt taken advantage of. The word or mouth marketing was now about her lack of honesty, not how much you could trust her.

Full disclosure may be the law, but it also establishes trust and is good for your business. If you tell your potential clients or customers everything you are supposed to tell them, and do it with an attitude of openness and honesty, they will begin to trust you. With trust comes the confidence they are making a good decision and are not being bilked out of their money.

You and I have probably been caught in a business transaction that cost money because of the "small print." Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn't it?

As the sales person, if you review the small print and give strategies to your prospect to protect him or herself, you let potential buyers know you are on their side. Don't be concerned about losing the sale if you point out things that might be to the disadvantage of your prospect. You want a client, one who will come back to you time and again, not just a customer who is with you for one sale only.

How your words pointing out weaknesses are accepted depend upon the following:

  • Your attitude
  • Your tone of voice and the inflections in your voice
  • How you frame your words

There are ways to reveal short comings whether you are talking to your prospect in person, by phone or through a sales letter. Your attitude will come through your words whether spoken or written. The key is to present yourself as open and honest with the primary focus being what is best for your prospect. A potential client or customer can sense when you are only interested in making the money rather than wanting to serve him or her. If you feel desperate financially the person you are talking to or who is reading your words will pick it up and be repelled by it.

Once you have the correct attitude you can develop the skills needed to communicate your concern for your prospect through your voice or through the written word. If you don't feel the concern, you need to examine what is going on within you. As a mentor once said, "You need to re-examine your priorities."

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