As sales people, one of our main responsibilities is building credibility with prospects so that they trust us.
And yet time and time again, I get approached by sales people who ignore this simple fact.
So here’s a simple checklist of techniques you can use to help build credibility in the eyes of your prospects:
1. Share success stories.
Prospects need to be able to see how using your product or service will help them solve a problem that they’re facing. Prove your value by sharing stories of how you’ve helped other customers address the same problem(s).
2. Demonstrate quantified value.
Similar to sharing success stories, it’s important to demonstrate quantifiable evidence of the value that you provide.
Maybe you’ve helped other customer increase profit by 20%, reduce costs by 30%
get down to provide value for your customers, reduce software timescales by 5 weeks, attract 6 new leads per week.
Remember …. Numbers sell!
3. Make sure your LinkedIn profile aligns with your sales message.
In an online world, prospects might well research you before or during the sales process.
So when they do, your messaging (and overall brand) should all be consistent.
Use language that matches what you’re sharing in your conversations. When they hear the same thing online and offline, it reinforces the key points you want to communicate.
4. Engage on a human-to-human level.
Your primary goal as a sales person should be to connect with your prospects. Without that connection, they won’t trust you enough to buy from you.
Essentially, this is all about building rapport. Being human and building rapport will help and encourage the prospect to open up more.
5. Personalise your initial communications.
Let’s face it….. Your prospects are being inundated with information and emails, so acknowledge it, and then personalise the way you contact them to increase the likelihood that you’ll get a response.
You might try and find something you have in common with the prospect, you might provide a tip that might be relevant to the company, or you could include an article that might be relevant to their industry.
6. Build rapport.
Building rapport is arguably the most important aspect of selling.
Take time to learn more about them as people, share a story that you think might resonate with them, and show that you care about them.
If you do this in conjunction with providing value in the sales process, you’ll become a trusted advisor.
7. Find out who’s involved in the sales process.
Whenever you’re making a sale, you know that you’re not just talking to one decision-maker. There are several people involved in the process of purchasing a product or service, especially on the B2B side.
The most successful sales people get agreement from multiple individuals within the organisation. Don’t just focus on the decision-maker; talk to everyone involved in the sales process.
8. Be honest.
Salespeople sometimes have a bad reputation of being “untrustworthy” because there are ulterior motives in the conversation.
That’s why you need to be open about who is or isn’t a good fit for your services.
Prospects don’t want to work with salespeople who are willing to sell everything to everybody.
Don’t be afraid to tell a prospect when you don’t think your product or service is a good fit for them. They’ll thank you for it, they may come back if circumstances change, or they might tell someone who is a good it for you.
9. Walk away from bad deals.
When you need a deal, it makes sense that you’re going to push a little more than normal. However, it’s important to avoid this.
The worst thing for credibility is when you need a deal and are unlikely to walk away, especially if the deal isn’t a great fit for you or the prospect.
If your pipeline is full, you won’t have to worry about really needing every deal.
10. Don’t be a control freak.
As a salesperson, your job is to work with your prospects to find the best solution. It might help if you act like a consultant, so you can provide them with information but they’re also contributing to the process.
Salespeople should lead the sales process, but not control it. It’s your prospect’s process too.
11. Have a clear sales process.
The final way to build credibility with your prospect is to clearly communicate what the sales process is going to look like.
Having a clear agenda, defined next steps makes a prospect feel safe and will demonstrate that you’ve done this all before. Prospects often want to be guided, so setting out how you’re going to be doing this up front builds trust and credibility.
It’s vitally important to build credibility with your prospects. To do this, focus on building rapport and connection during every conversation.
If you’re struggling to build effective credibility with prospects, then maybe we can help.
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