Ever go on a date where your date tried to posture? You detected it instantly. They wanted to rush trust. Building trust in emails is the same.

Remember back in time. Your date showed you—he/she was attracted to you. But you weren’t sure. Yet. Then, suddenly, you were.

This person was not a match.

Maybe because they started caring about earning your trust—too much. They were trying too hard to look attractive.

"Why do prospects take demo meetings?" asks David Kirkdorffer, a CMO with decades of experience.

"Because they feel in control and don't believe vendors' claims." (coming from sales reps)

Mr. Kirkdorffer say many prospects are technical people who want to see a demo ASAP because first contact with a vendor is typically with non-technical sales reps who don't have answers to direct technical questions.

They don't trust them.

Also, "Prospects don't trust vendor claims and assertions... and believe they know more about their problem and what's required to solve it than vendor sales teams do," says Mr. Kirkdorffer.

Building trust in emails is like dating

Meeting a customer for the first time is the same as trying to build trust in emails. Subconsciously signaling “I want you to trust me” is the kiss of death in business. Same for attempts at building credibility. 

The moment you start caring too much (about earning trust) you risk being seen as desperate or needy by prospects.

It’s the same with your cold emails, LinkedIn connection requests, InMails and voicemails.

The best connection request is no request.

The best meeting request is no request. 

The best trust building email sequence is one not trying to build trust!

Instead, give it time. Create an urge for the prospect to want it… for their own selfish reason.

Sales is courtship. Nothing screams “I’m trying to persuade” you louder than rushing building trust in emails. Posturing to impress.

“What’s the biggest challenge you have as a vendor or service provider?” asks sales trainer, Scott Channell, in a recent blog post.

His answer: Your prospects don’t trust your attempt at building trust in emails.

“They have been on the receiving end of too many exaggerations and lies,” says Channell, who then asks, “How much sincerity do you have to fake to earn trust?”

Trust & credibility in sales emails doesn't matter (yet)

Reach into your email. Do it now. Seriously. Look for that latest spam email. The one from someone who wrote in a way that screams, “I know you won’t believe me… so here is research from a trusted, credible source… to convince you to talk about buying my thing.”

It shouldn’t take long to fish one out. Or maybe I’ve just described your email technique.

Most field and inside sales teams are advised to establish trust when writing cold sales emails. “Without being seen as credible and trusted, your email will be deleted by prospects.”

Simply. Not. True.

Without being provocative your email will get deleted. You don’t need trust, nor credibility yet. Save it for when your prospect is evaluating you. For now, provoke a discussion that could lead to a desire to examine your credibility.

Your email message doesn’t need to be credible or trusted–as much as it needs to be relevant, authentic (not cut-and-pasted mass spam) and provocative.

Trying to establish trust... too early... sabotages the chance to get conversations started.

Don’t fall into the trap. Don’t write to be seen as trusted from cold.

Example: Todd Caponi, author of The Transparency Sale, says, "Be a giver. Do you have data or research you can give that'll help the target save time, look smart, make better decisions for her team, customers or prospects?"

Todd recently told a story on LinkedIn about how the rep calling on him provoked him based on relevancy. (after having done his research on Todd!) 

"I had one company who noticed I had posted open SDR roles on our careers page. They sent me a note that said something like 'Subject: Chicago SDR Salary Study' and the email started with (something like) 'Sharing a salary study on what SDRs in Chicago are making–seeing as you just posted open SDR roles, thought this might be helpful.'"

"And that was it. Short, personalized, super valuable. They followed up with another similar one soon after, and I ended up engaging with them."

What should you do instead?

Stop trying to build trust in sales emails. Stop posturing. There's a better way.

Just like on the aforementioned date, stop talking about yourself. That’s a start.

From there, you can learn how to prospect better and get more responses.

Taking the steps to do that will save you time–and a lot of bad dates (or, in this case, outreach emails).

In 1999, I co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc. where I helped secure 2 rounds of funding and built the sales team. I've been selling for over 2 decades.

After this stint, I returned to what was then Molander & Associates Inc. In recent years we re-branded to Communications Edge Inc., a member-driven laboratory of sorts. We study, invent and test better ways to communicate -- specializing in serving sales and marketing professionals.

I'm a coach and creator of the Spark Selling™ communication methodology—a curiosity-driven way to start and advance conversations. When I'm not working you'll find me hiking, fishing, gardening and investing time in my family.

Related Posts...

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}