Today’s salespeople have to learn a variety of selling skills that weren’t even thought of 10 years ago. But despite all the changes in technology, one selling skill continues to be more important than all the others combined.
Establishing credibility is the single most important element of selling. It requires building and maintaining trust and a high degree of comfort with customers.
It doesn’t mean putting pressure on customers or having knee-jerk reactions to objections. .
Four basic components of credibility:
- Your experience. One of the first things a prospect wants to know about you is your experience in your current business. Credibility is something that has to be earned. Prospects are looking for a track record that says you can deliver your promises.
- Your knowledge. You earn the prospect’s trust through your knowledge, your technical expertise, and your demonstrated ability to understand the prospect’s areas of need and responsibility.
- Presentation. How do you present yourself, not your product or service, to the prospect? Among the “softer” but still important elements of credibility can be your personal appearance, your language and patterns of speech, your personality and demeanor, and your general level of professional courtesy.
- Your personal and business associations. While you can’t rely on “connections” alone to build credibility, relevant business and personal connections can have a good introductory effect.