If you have been in the sales game for any length of time you have heard that you need to establish credibility with your prospects. Unless you establish credibility, your sales efforts are in vain no matter how much you do or how sincere you are in trying to serve your prospect. The prospect will not accept your statements as facts or view your actions to be in their best interest.
You want to establish credibility early in the sales process. When you establish credibility you earn the right to continue in the sales process. So now that the importance of credibility has been established, how do you establish credibility and how do you know when you have?
The first step in establishing credibility starts with your mindset or attitude about your company and prospect. You first have to believe your company is providing the best solution possible for your prospect. Secondly, your mindset has to be: focused on assisting the prospect to reach their goals. If your mindset is I’m going to sell them something regardless of whether it’s the best solution or not, you will not be successful in establishing credibility.
The second step in establishing credibility is having the right kind of conversations with your prospect. All too often sales people talk too much about themselves, their company, and their products or services before they even know why their having a conversation with the prospect in the first place. It seems there is “hello” and then it’s a me talk (sales person) you listen (prospect) deal. While it is important to tell about yourself, your company, and your products or services, the timing of these conversations is always best after you have established credibility. Start your conversations centered around your prospect’s concerns, issues, and interests. Ask your prospect about the challenges they are facing in their business, the trends they see, and the value they bring to their customers. When you focus on the prospect they get that you are interested in them. This focus helps you establish credibility.
You’ll know when you have established a level of creditability when your prospect is forthcoming and you get the sense that the prospect really wants you to understand what they want to achieve if they were to do business with you. This is not a commitment to do business with you. You’ve established credibility when you get the sense they want to really explore the possibility of doing business with you. You can see if you are not at this level of credibility with a prospect it really is a waste of time telling them how great you, your company and your products and services are.
Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you can push forward in the sales process without establishing credibility. Take the time to establish credibility and you will benefit in the long run.