Stephen Newman’s Blog

Have Credibility, Will Win

Credibility is part of the sales process, which is often overlooked or taken for granted. Why would you bother to check? Any sales professional probably learned about credibility on their first training programme. Smart appearance, positive and helpful communication, logical reasoning – what else is there to add? You’re credible.

Actually, credibility deserves a little more attention. There are critical moments when your credibility is being assessed and you need to be aware when this is happening. It’s an essential ‘check’ for every sales professional regardless of competence and before every call. Credibility is vital if you’re going to successfully win a new customer or continue an existing relationship. But did you know there are various types of credibility?

When you join a new team or a new company, you and your customers might be polite to each other. But if you want people to buy from you, you’re asking them to take a leap of faith to believe in you. If you have no track record in your new environment and they don’t know you, all the credibility you have is established by the company name on your card and by those around you in the meeting. Some people call this ‘established’ or ‘brand’ credibility. Of course your past reputation might count but what evidence do you have that you can do equally well in your new role? This is a critical moment and you need to be prepared.

Similarly, if you bring people with you to a meeting or ask a colleague to do something for one of your customers, their actions on yourbehalf will affect not just their own credibility but also yours. This is called ‘transferred’ credibility. This is another critical moment. Did your colleagues send the information your client requested? Was it received in good time? Were there any initial reactions? What are you walking into? Will the meeting go as planned? Read more