Intuitive Sales Wisdom Regarding Credibility
Here's a bit of insight I stumbled upon about credibility while doing a half day training with one of our regional sports franchise sales teams.
During the the session, I realized these guys were intently focused on their service. And I needed them to move away from using that as a sales crutch to try something new. So, I started asking a series of questions regarding how salespeople open calls.
I said, “Do you think it's possible for a salesperson with great credibility and trust to sell a mediocre product that has no reputation?”
The group answered yes.
Then I asked “Can a salesperson with great credibility and trust sell a good product with a good reputation?”
This time there was a quick and resounding Yes!
I then asked, “Do you think it's possible for a salesperson with no credibility to sell a solid, brand name product with a good reputation?”
There was a pause and some quick deliberation around the room. Then, the group answered no.
“Hmmm... why not?”
After some discussion, the group came to the conclusion that a prospect wouldn't trust a salesperson with no credibility. The prospect couldn't trust the salesperson to do the right thing by them and that the salesperson was possibly only looking out for themselves.
I didn't even go for the fourth scenario. I didn't have to.
Sell Yourself and Establish Your Own Credibility First
Then I said, “So, a salesperson with credibility can sell a well known product, or even a mediocre, unknown product. And a salesperson with no credibility will have trouble selling even well known products. So, what should you sell at the opening of a sales call?”
The answer was obvious. Intellectually, everyone knew it where this was going. However, for some salespeople in the room, it was an emotional “OMG!” moment.
If you want to move the sale forward, then sell yourself first. You won't do that by talking about your company, your great services, or the rich feature set in your products.
You sell yourself by spending the only currency that matters—your time. Spend time researching your prospect's business. Spend time understanding their business practices and their problems. Then, wrap all of that up in an Impact Statement. Now < when you open the sales call, you can show that you've made an investment in the relationship with the prospect. That puts the ball is squarely in their court.
When you go on a sales call and start working with your prospect or client, remember, you own the relationship. So start acting like it.
Own the sales call. Sell yourself first.
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