Considering that prospects are already wary of salespeople, a rep’s credibility is vital to making deals. If a rep missteps and engages in behavior that prospects see as sales credibility killers, that rep loses the chance to close the deal. According to Leslie Ye, contributor for HubSpot, avoiding those missteps is easy. She shares specific behaviors that can ultimately destroy credibility. Read on for two of her don’ts.
Fumbling the Basics
Prospects expect you to be knowledgeable about their businesses — and the little things are just as important. Mispronouncing a prospect’s name or fudging facts about their business can do major harm. “Fumbling facts like these sends a message to your buyers loud and clear — you don’t care about them,” Ye explains. You show them you care by getting the basic information right, and you wow them with your knowledge of the big stuff. Otherwise, you risk losing sales credibility.
Asking for Repeats
Asking a prospect to repeat themselves raises warning flags. “It’s one thing if you’re asking follow-up questions or digging deeper on a point you didn’t catch, but if you have to ask a buyer to tell you how many stakeholders are involved in a purchase more than once, it’ll be clear you aren’t dedicating your full attention to the conversation,” Ye writes. It’s vital that you listen carefully to the prospect and keep track of what they say. Doing so reveals your interest, attention to detail and organization. While it may be difficult to do if you’re juggling multiple deals, make it a priority to take careful notes and, if available, use a CRM system.
Other Sales Credibility Killers
Our proprietary research shows that no profession scores lower than sales reps when it comes to credibility. You can change that perception by engaging in the kind of behavior that positively influences your prospect.
In our Selling to SMB Survey, buyers told us what they want to see from sellers. Specifically, 45% of buyers are willing to talk with a rep who provides ideas that are relevant to their business. You need to know more than the name of your prospect and the line of business they're in. They want you to understand the kinds of issues impacting their industry, whether it's disintermediation or huge competition from international competitors with a lower cost structure. And that's just the beginning. You should be able to show how your solution will help them increase their market share profitably.
While you may be in a hurry to close the deal, your buyers will be on a different schedule. At least 38% of SMB buyers told us that being constantly pressured to buy something is a deal breaker. Be patient, be respectful and offer something of value. These strategies will help you avoid sales credibility killers.